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[Level 3 COVID Alert] Mobile Rapid Test Team Completes First Mission

Poster introducing the City's Mobile Rapid Test TeamTo provided citizens with the latest pandemic-related updates, Mayor Ko Wen-je and city officials presided over the COVID update press conference on June 2. He noted that while the spread has been controlled to a certain degree in Taipei, we are still unable to completely eliminate the virus. The next step is to consider cost-effective administrative measures for vaccinating the public.
 
He noted that according to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, the corrected number of positive cases across the country on June 2 is 549 (among which 152 cases were reported in Taipei City) and 12 deaths. He believes that part of the reason for the large number is a spike in the number of people tested, and it takes time for the PCR test results to be processed and uploaded. He reminds citizens that the overall trend is more accurate when looking at numbers from previous week, since these stats have already been adjusted for accuracy.
 
As for the numbers from Wenhua District, he pointed out that a total of 568 tests from June 1 were analyzed, producing a positive rate of 5.3%. From the statistics over the past 6 weeks, it seems that the cluster in Wanhua District is under control, though cases have spread to the remaining 11 administrative districts.
 
While admitting that it is impossible to completely eliminate the virus at this point, the city government seeks to balance between strengthened management and respect for individuals, as well as between economics and pandemic prevention. As long as 80% of residents adhere to prevention guidelines, he believes that the pandemic will remain under control in Taipei.
 
Regarding the issue of pandemic prevention at traditional markets and whether local beauty parlors and saloons should close during this period, Ko believes that measures should consider the potential impact upon businesses and the economy. He noted that the most successful aspect of Taipei’s approach is the high responsiveness citizenry, where most people will do what’s expected of them without the need to evoke public power.
 
The mayor remarked that live cameras have been installed at 5 traditional markets in town. This will allow potential visitors to see how crowded the market is before deciding to go or not. He hopes that people can limit their shopping trips to twice weekly to avoid unnecessary exposure to crowds.
 
As for the newly-formed Mobile Rapid Test Teams, he mentioned that the task force has been deployed to Chinese Culture University to conduct tests for over 200 students. According to the mayor, with the help of Taipei’s Pandemic Information Dashboard, the city government can identify hot zones through analyzing big data. The team, which consists of 10 members from Taipei City Hospital, will travel to the hot zones to identify possible cases as a first step to preventing further contagion. A total of 13 positive cases at the university were immediately relocated to hospitals and quarantine hotels.
 
The mayor also announced the City’s plan to implement a quick response mass vaccination program upon receiving adequate amount from the central government. The city government plans to employ 39 qualified hospitals as the primary sites for vaccination. The goal will be to administer 45,000 shots daily. The second-line sites will be the health service center and contracted clinics across Taipei’s 12 districts. The third line sites will comprise large venues set up as mass vaccination sites. In addition, the city government will also establish Mobile Vaccination Teams to provide service to mobility-challenged individuals and residents of senior homes.