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Taiwan president reassures public as COVID outbreak expands

Mask supply, healthcare, vaccine distribution all functioning normally: Tsai

President Tsai Ing-wen speaking at DPP headquarters Wednesday 

President Tsai Ing-wen speaking at DPP headquarters Wednesday  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assured the public that there are sufficient masks, hospital beds, and vaccines as an outbreak of COVID-19 expanded Wednesday (May 12).

The sudden emergence of domestic infections in Yilan County and New Taipei City Tuesday (May 11) surprised many in Taiwan, which has had one of the best records in fighting the pandemic.

As a result of the new clusters, the government upgraded its prevention measures, leading to the cancellation of public events and to tougher precautions at public locations and on public transportation. A further rise to a higher alert level is likely within the next few days, officials said.

The president said there is no need to panic, but people should take reasonable precautions and follow advice on infection prevention, CNA reported. Tsai added that at present, there are enough masks available, the healthcare system is functioning normally, and the distribution of vaccines will continue.

She pledged that the central government will work with local administrations to beef up prevention measures. While acknowledging the changes will affect daily lives, the president called on the public to remain aware of the risks and take the pandemic seriously. If people stick together, the challenge can be met, Tsai concluded.

The president was speaking at the regular weekly leadership meeting of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which she chairs.

Earlier in the day, Tsai reportedly chaired a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) to discuss the latest developments.

Updated : 2021-06-16 06:11 GMT+08:00