Taiwan doctor warns of potential 'coronavirus tsunami'

Health expert pessimistic about Taiwan’s streak of no local infections, says citizens’ relaxed attitude could cost them

Many Taiwanese have resumed normal life. 

Many Taiwanese have resumed normal life.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chung Shan Medical University Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department Director Hsieh Tsung-hsueh (謝宗學) on Tuesday (July 28) warned that Taiwanese citizens' relaxed attitude toward the worsening pandemic could result in a "coronavirus tsunami" in the country.

Following the news on Monday (July 27) that a Thai migrant worker tested positive for coronavirus after returning home from Taiwan, Hsieh took to Facebook to express his concerns about a potential surge in Taiwan's infection cases. He noted that there is a high likelihood the Thai patient was infected while in Taiwan despite the country not having reported more than three cases in a single day for more than two months — until Monday.

Hsieh said he has noticed that many Taiwanese do not wear masks except when taking public transportation and visiting hospitals. He also observed that many people have ignored social distancing and mask recommendations even in extremely crowded places.

Hsieh said the majority of Taiwanese no longer pay attention to virus developments in other countries, considering them irrelevant to their lives. He stressed that this attitude could potentially lead to a "coronavirus tsunami" once the country identifies a local transmission cluster.

The Taiwanese doctor urged the public to return to the level of alertness it displayed at the start of the outbreak. He added that neighboring countries are all experiencing second epidemic waves, so there is no guarantee of Taiwan can maintain its safety for long.

Since the post was published, many internet users have thanked Hsieh for his reminder while echoing his suggestion about wearing masks. Meanwhile, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Tuesday afternoon that five more imported cases have been reported in the country, making nine cases in two days, reported New Talk.