May 15, 2021 - World

Taiwan raises COVID-19 alert level amid surge in cases

Picture of people waiting in line to get tested in Taiwan

Photo: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Taiwanese government on Saturday raised the coronavirus alert levels for two cities, Taipei and New Taipei City, after authorities reported a surge in new infections.

The state of play: People in the two cities will be required to wear masks outdoors, and indoor and outdoor gatherings will be limited to five and 10 people respectively, per the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control.

  • All entertainment venues — along with clubs, gyms, bars and hair salons — will be required to shut down. Restaurants must implement social distancing.
  • Schools will continue to offer instruction, but will be closed to the general public.
  • Measures are expected to remain in place between May 15 and May 28.

By the numbers: The measures were announced after the Taiwan Central Epidemic Command Center reported that 185 new virus cases were found on Saturday. This is "the largest single-day increase of community transmission since the pandemic began," the Washington Post writes.

  • The CECC says that Taiwan has a total of 1,475 confirmed cumulative cases and 12 deaths.

What they're saying: "The epidemic is gaining intensity," health officials said, according to the Post. "Only by doing this can infections be dealt with and controlled."

What's next: Health officials said a full lockdown could be imposed if more than 100 new cases are reported daily for two weeks.

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