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Level 3 COVID alert unlikely to be lifted in Taiwan as household transmission surges

Cluster infections in nursing homes pose additional challenge to country's COVID battle

Level 3 COVID alert unlikely to be lifted in Taiwan as household transmission surges

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan New) — Academia Sinica epidemiologist Ho Mei-shang (何美鄉) says that as a new wave of COVID-19 cases occurs due to the prevalence of household transmission, it is implausible that Level 3 restrictions will be lifted on June 14 as originally scheduled.

Ho said that the semi-lockdown has indeed achieved a certain degree of pandemic prevention, but she deemed it unlikely the alert will be reverted to Level 2, as many infected people who are asymptomatic are causing a rise in household transmissions, UDN reported.

However, the epidemiologist suggested that even if the alert level remains at 3, some restrictive measures should be relaxed, such as by opening parks and exercise facilities, per UDN.

In addition to household transmission, cluster infections in nursing homes also pose a challenge to the country’s efforts in fighting the pandemic.

The Taipei City Government confirmed on Tuesday (June 1) that an outbreak in a Xinyi District nursing home has resulted in the deaths of seven residents, whose average age was 82. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) noted that the facility's residents are mostly old, severely ill, or intubated patients, which results in a higher death rate from COVID-19.

There have been at least four COVID cluster infections in long-term care centers across the country, UDN reported. According to data released by the Central Epidemic Command Center, the positivity rate among people over 60 years old is rising; as of Tuesday, it had reached 30 percent.

There are currently 224 senior COVID patients on ventilators nationwide, and experts have warned nursing homes across the country to be vigilant in order to prevent cluster infections.

Updated : 2021-06-19 00:05 GMT+08:00