Taiwan bars entry to non-nationals after Covid spike

Taiwan is banning the entry of non-nationals without a resident permit and the transit of international airport passengers, after reporting a new daily record of 333 locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said on Monday.

The temporary suspension will be imposed from Wednesday to June 18, dpa news agency quoted the Minister as saying at a news conference here.

Monday’s number of locally transmitted cases is a sharp jump from Sunday’s previous record daily high of 206, prompting fresh concern about the trajectory of Taiwan’s outbreak.

The sources of infection for dozens of Covid-19 patients remained unidentified, according to the Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC).

Taiwan, which had contained the virus well last year, has witnessed three-digit numbers of locally transmitted cases since May 15, when it tightened prevention measures in the Taipei metropolitan area for two weeks.

As of Monday, Taiwan, an island of 23.6 million people, has confirmed a total of just 2,017 cases during the entire pandemic, including 883 locally transmitted cases, and 12 virus-related deaths, according to the CECC.

To lower the risk of transmission, all students from pre-schools to high schools in the two cities were asked to stay home from Tuesday until May 28.