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Taiwan’s top COVID official rejects ban on indoor dining despite surge

CECC chief: Peak period for local infections to last half a month

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An empty restaurant during the COVID surge in the summer of 2021. 

An empty restaurant during the COVID surge in the summer of 2021.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Despite the number of daily local COVID-19 infections rising to record levels, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) chief Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) rejected the idea of a ban on indoor dining Friday (May 6).

He also countered the suggestion that the current COVID surge would last six weeks, saying experience overseas showed that half a month was the more likely duration of the peak period, CNA reported.

Taiwan implemented a ban on indoor dining last year after a surge in May, when the daily number of local infections rose to more than 400. On Friday, the CECC confirmed more than 36,000 local COVID cases, a single-day record with officials predicting a figure between 50,000 and 100,000 around May 11.

Chen said Friday that banning eating at restaurants no longer made sense now that the infection rate was so high. He did advise diners to wear a mask when they were not eating or when they had to get up and move around the restaurant, though.