TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) pointed out that beyond Wanhua District, cases also increased on Wednesday (May 26) in all of the city's 11 other districts, and he concluded that the only long-term solution is vaccination.
At a press conference that afternoon, Ko said that although there are many new cases being reported in Wanhua, the rate of increase has slowed somewhat due to epidemic prevention measures. However, he warned that the number of confirmed cases in Taipei's other 11 districts is on the rise.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Wednesday that there were 87 confirmed local cases in Taipei, but it also mentioned 221 backlog cases for the city that day. Ko noted that there were more backlog cases reported than new cases Wednesday and said, "this number has lost its substantive significance. It is more important to look at the trend."
He said that 782 cases were diagnosed from May 16-22, marking a significant increase from the 561 reported from May 9-15 and an explosive increase from the 40 see from May 2-8. Ko predicted that the numbers will be even higher for the May 23-30 period.
The mayor warned the public to "not mistakenly think that Wanhua is the only affected area in Taipei City." He said that the other 11 districts also have a considerable infection rate.
For example, from May 16-22, Wenshan District reported 59 cases and Xinyi District had 45. He said that once the number of cases in a given district exceeds 50, it becomes very difficult to carry out epidemiological investigations on a routine basis.
Beyond Taipei and New Taipei, Ko warned that it is possible that there are small-scale cluster infections in other parts of northern, central, and southern Taiwan. The mayor said that in the short term, the Level 3 restrictions cannot be lifted.
He asserted that there only two solutions. One is to go into a Level 4 lockdown, halt all public transportation, and manage positive patients in "concentration camps." The other is to inoculate the entire population with vaccines, said Ko.
The mayor said that 410,000 vaccine doses are slated to arrive on Thursday (May 27) and another two million in June, while more may come in August. Ko urged the government to seek any international stocks of vaccines because without them the restrictions will have to stay in place.
Ko said that beyond the Pfizer vaccine, there are many other vaccines on the market that the government should seek to acquire.