Taiwan health minister promotes social distancing guidelines

Individuals should maintain distance of 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors, wear masks on public transport: CECC

People in Taiwan encouraged to practice social distancing. (Pixabay photo)

People in Taiwan encouraged to practice social distancing. (Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — To prevent transmission clusters of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) in Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has introduced a set of social distancing guidelines for people to follow.

At Tuesday's (March 31) daily press conference on the country's latest COVID-19 cases, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) encouraged all individuals to follow the recommendations and maintain a social distance of 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors. He said that the authorities will finalize the guidelines before announcing them on Wednesday (April 1).

Chen pointed out that people should sit or queue 1m apart from others and avoid dining with friends or coworkers. For areas that are impossible to implement social distancing, such as trains or Metro Rapid Transit (MRT) stations, people must wear masks, he added.

The health minister noted that the government is hoping to treat the guidelines as advice rather than as rules during the initial stages. He urged everyone to comply with the new policy, but he explained that individuals will not be fined unless they intentionally challenge the guidelines, reported the Liberty Times.

With the upcoming Tomb Sweeping holidays, Chen admitted that there will be a higher risk for coronavirus transmission. However, he said that all public service areas have been instructed to maintain a clean environment and provide hand sanitizers as well as cleaning stations for people to wash their hands, reported CNA.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung. (CNA photo)