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Taiwan further tightens hospitalization rules for COVID cases

Pregnant women, infants to be housed in non-medical facilities

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Children wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus and take exercise at a park in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, May 7, 2022. (AP Ph...

Children wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus and take exercise at a park in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, May 7, 2022. (AP Ph...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The health authorities announced on Tuesday (May 17) that only COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms will be admitted to hospitals amid a spike in cases.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said at a regular briefing that the limited hospital capacity will be reserved for patients exhibiting severe symptoms. Other high-risk groups will be housed in non-medical institutes but with supporting measures in the event of emergencies.

From Tuesday, bolstered centralized quarantine centers and COVID-dedicated hotels will be used to accommodate cases aged 70 and older or 65 to 69 who live alone. Also, women who are 36+ weeks pregnant as well as newborns less than three months old who have a fever, or an infant three to 12 months old with a body temperature of at least 39 degrees Celsius will be moved to such facilities.

The CECC stressed that a “green corridor” will be established to ensure pregnant women and infants receive medical treatment in emergencies. The changes mean that cases with mild or no symptoms, and those who are younger than the age of 69 will be subject to home care.

Taiwan has been adjusting its COVID response guidelines since the surge in local infections to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. The country has recorded 869,131 cases since the start of this year, 99.7% of them with mild or no symptoms. As of May 15, 80.82% of Taiwan's population had been fully vaccinated and 63% had received a booster dose.