TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government of the outlying island of Kinmen said Friday (May 28) it is not planning to cut off the county from Taiwan’s main island despite the latter's serious COVID-19 situation.
The frequency of flights to and from Kinmen County, which lies closer to China than to the rest of Taiwan, has already dropped to three or four a day, CNA reported. However, since residents need to travel or receive medical treatment the local government would not end flights completely or lock down the island, County Magistrate Yang Cheng-wu (楊鎮浯) said Friday.
On May 26, Lienchiang County, another island area close to the coast of China’s Fujian Province, registered its first COVID case, leaving Kinmen as the only Taiwan county without any coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic more than a year ago.
The changing situation led to calls in Kinmen to shut the island off and keep out potential infections, but Yang said that was not necessary. Of the 156 passengers who arrived on the island by plane Thursday (May 27), 96 voluntarily submitted to rapid COVID tests, he said.
To counter the impact of the pandemic, the county announced Friday it was giving NT$6,000 (US$216) per person to each low-to-middle-income household, while also asking the Ministry of Labor for assistance in helping to find an extra 100 jobs for unemployed islanders. If the pandemic situation remained grave, Yang did not exclude handing out stimulus vouchers to boost the local economy, CNA reported.