TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head on Wednesday morning stated that Taiwan could soon raise its epidemic warning to Level 3 repeating that the epidemic situation is "very severe" and stressing that it is "not a joke."
While talking to members of the media before a session of the Legislative Yuan on Wednesday, a reporter asked Health and Welfare Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) to confirm if rumors of new local cases in Keelung were true. He responded that he would provide more information at a press conference in the afternoon, adding that the epidemic in Taiwan has reached a "very severe stage" and vigilance must be raised.
When asked if there are two transmission chains in the country, Chen said that he believes there could be even more. He closed by reiterating that the epidemic situation in Taiwan has reached a "very severe stage" and now it is time to actively test for the disease.
He declared that "all kinds of unnecessary criticism are meaningless and now is the time for everyone to actively mobilize to fight the pandemic together." Chen then repeated for the third time "this is a very severe stage" and added, "this is not a joke."
During the Legislative Yuan session, Chen said that the epidemic warning could be raised to Level 3 that day. However, when the media questioned him about the matter after the session, he backtracked by saying the level would not be raised that day, but rather in 'the coming days" and emphasized that such a decision would be based on evidence.
According to the CECC's four-tier system, Level 3 will be implemented in the event that there are more than three community cluster infections within a single week in the country or more than 10 local cases of unknown origin. If a Level 3 alert is put in place, all people must wear masks at all times when venturing out and indoor gatherings would be limited to five people, while outdoor gatherings would be restricted to 10.