TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Health and Welfare Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) traveled south to the Pingtung County beach resort town of Kenting over the weekend to promote what he dubbed the "new epidemic prevention lifestyle."
On Saturday (May 23), Taiwan's 41st day without any new local coronavirus infections, Chen was seen with Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-an (潘孟安) wearing matching Hawaiian shirts and wooden Japanese sandals (geta) in the Kenting Night Market. Many grateful onlookers swarmed Chen to take photos and ask him to sign autographs.
During the press event, Pan expressed his gratitude for the joint efforts of Taiwan's epidemic prevention team. Chen said that he was visiting Kenting to demonstrate the "new epidemic prevention lifestyle," which he hopes can provide a new boost to tourism in southern Taiwan, reported Business Today.
Pan (left), Chen (right). (CECC photo)
The CECC head emphasized that the current status of the epidemic in Taiwan "can be regarded as passing the mid-term examination," reported Mirror Media. Chen said it is still important to maintain good personal hygiene habits such as handwashing, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette, as well as a social distance of one-and-a-half meters indoors and more than one meter outdoors.
He said that if one cannot wear a mask, "as long as you protect your health, you can travel with confidence in the country." Chen said that given the successful containment of the epidemic in Taiwan, life is gradually returning to a normal track.
Chen said that he appreciates the wisdom and initiative of the Taiwanese people. He then proudly proclaimed "I'm proud of Taiwan," drawing cheers from the crowd.
The CECC last week indicated that the government should first promote domestic tourism, as it is still too unsafe to resume international travel. His trip to southern Taiwan was intended to be a signal to the public that travel to popular tourist spots is now deemed safe by the CECC.
The center had previously criticized the members of the public for flocking to crowded scenic spots over the Tomb Sweeping Festival holiday in early April.
Chen (left), Pan (right). (Facebook, Pan Men-an photo)