TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed her sorrow about the passing away of COVID-19 patients as the country set a single-day record of 37 deaths from the virus Saturday (June 5).
Since mid-May, Taiwan has experienced a surge in local infections, with Saturday’s tally standing at 476 new transmissions. A total of 37 deaths were also announced that day, taking the death toll since the beginning of the pandemic to 224.
In a Facebook Live broadcast, Tsai said she had told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to do its utmost to lower the death toll, CNA reported. The CECC had promised to make the elderly one of the priority groups in the vaccination campaign, the president stated.
Tsai also turned her attention to the sudden surge of infections at electronics factories in Miaoli County, where 66 new coronavirus cases were reported Saturday, the highest number after hotspots New Taipei City and Taipei.
She called on political leaders in the region to form a COVID prevention alliance. Miaoli, along with neighboring Hsinchu County, form a Taiwanese Silicon Valley, housing some of the world’s top electronics companies.
The outbreak at King Yuan Electronics Co., Ltd. (KYEC), a major chip tester and packager, has come at an inopportune time. The world is facing a shortage of semiconductors, especially for the automotive industry.
Tsai said she had phoned local politicians in Miaoli and Hsinchu offering assistance from the central government and that the CECC had set up a local branch in the area Friday (June 4).
KYEC has been conducting COVID tests on 7,000 employees, mostly migrant workers, at its Zhunan plant in Miaoli County over the past three days, but other electronics firms have also reported infections.