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Mayor Ko Visits Taipei City Hospital to Offer Words of Encouragement for Frontline Medical Personnel in Combating the Covid-19 Outbreak

Mayor with nurses at Taipei City Hospital As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to escalate internationally, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-Je visited the negative pressure isolation wards and emergency rooms at the Heping and Renai Branch of the Taipei City Hospital on March 5 to express his gratitude to the frontline medical staff and offer words of encouragement. He also handed out gift coupons to thank them for their contributions in the fight against the outbreak.

According to Ko, he has the utmost respect and gratitude for the frontline medical staff. Since the SARS outbreak, everyone has received comprehensive training on infection control and outbreak prevention, and that is why Taiwan has managed to keep the COVID-19 outbreak under control thus far. If the outbreak takes a turn for the worse, he expects everyone to hold fast their posts in a bid to protect citizens’ health. Now that the city government’s outbreak prevention efforts have been upgraded to level 1, various departments and subsidiary organizations will remain vigilant, and numerous outbreak prevention measures have been deployed in advance.

The mayor cares a great deal about the medical personnel’s welfare; hence he has progressively raised the remuneration of Taipei City Hospital and moving it closer to the market median wage: annual income of nurses has been increased from approximately NT$808,000 in 2014 to NT$825,000 in 2018. At the same time, he also pays attention to the problems associated with prescription drugs for patients with chronic illnesses.

Ko commented that the top priority now is outbreak prevention, and patients with chronic illnesses are encouraged to fill their prescriptions at community pharmacies. If the patients insist to fill their prescriptions at hospitals, the patient traffic flow separation approach will be adopted to minimize the risk of hospital-acquired infections. Patients looking to fill their prescriptions can swipe their NHI cards at the hospital entrance and wait for the pharmacist to fetch and deliver the drugs to them. They are advised not to enter the hospital.

Mayor Ko quoted a statement by the WHO saying that COVID-19 may develop into a global pandemic within the next month, thus he appeals to all citizens to monitor their health as well as wash their hands frequently and wear surgical masks to prevent the community-acquired infection from spreading and in turn placing a heavier burden on the already stretched medical care system. We must cherish the remarkable medical system in Taiwan that has taken many years to establish by making collective contributions to contain the outbreak, thereby creating a safer medical care environment for all.