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Taiwanese split on 'coexisting with COVID' policy

46% of Taiwanese disagree with 'coexisting with COVID,' while 45% approve

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(Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

(Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A new poll released on Tuesday (April 26) revealed that Taiwanese are split over the government's policy to "coexist with COVID," with slightly more people opposed to the policy than those in favor.

In the latest survey by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF, 台灣民意基金會), respondents from all over Taiwan were asked if they agree with the Central Epidemic Command Center's (CECC's) policy of "coexisting with COVID." Among the respondents, 46.3% percent stated that they disapproved of the policy, and 45% indicated their approval.

More specifically, 12.8% strongly agreed with the policy, 32.2% somewhat agreed, 29.7% disagreed, 16.6% strongly disagreed, and the remaining 8.9% had no opinion, did not know, or refused to respond. The poll's authors concluded that although many people in Taiwan already accept the policy, there is a slightly higher percentage who still oppose it.

In addition, the poll asked the public to rate the overall performance of CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中); 21.5% gave him a score of 90 points or above, 21% gave a rating of 80-89 points, 16.5% scored him between 61 and 79 points, 18.7% gave a score of 60 points, 17.7% issued a rating of under 60 points, and 4.5% did not know or refused to answer the question. This netted Chen an average score of 70.22 points.

TPOF Chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said the results show that although Taiwan is experiencing a surge in Omicron cases, Taiwanese society still approves of the performance of the CECC under Chen's leadership. Although there has been criticism in some circles, You said that Chen's 70-point score is consistent with his average score throughout the pandemic.

You believes the continued support for Chen could be due to the fact that, compared with the Omicron outbreaks in South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Vietnam, and other countries in the region, the epidemic in Taiwan occurred later and has been relatively mild thus far.

The survey was conducted for the TPOF by Focus Survey Research (山水民意研究公司) from April 17-19. The poll gathered valid responses via telephone from 1,071 adults 20 and over and had a sampling error of plus or minus 2.99% with a confidence level of 95%.