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Foreign Diplomatic Offices and Enterprises in Taiwan are Willing to Cooperate with Taipei City Government to Embrace the New Normal during the Pandemic

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This May (2021), the pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) became aggravated in Taiwan and raised concerns among foreign travelers or residents in Taipei city. To help these people learn the real-time pandemic situation of COVID-19 in Taiwan, Taipei City Government created easy-to-understand English charts containing crucial pandemic-prevention information and pushed and transferred to various countries’ diplomatic offices, trade offices, and major business associations in Taiwan through a LINE group, in which representatives of nearly 50 diplomatic offices in Taiwan (including American Institute in Taiwan, Bureau Français de Taipei, German Institute Taipei, British Office in Taipei, India Taipei Association, and Canada Trade Office in Taipei) and four major international business associations joined. The LINE group demonstrates Taipei City Government’s intense concern of pandemic-prevention issues. On June 9, 2021, Taipei City Government convened an online video conference for approximately 80 participants, including diplomatic envoys in Taiwan and chief executive officers and representatives of foreign business associations. In the intense online discussion, Taipei City officials, including Deputy Superintendent Hsu Chia-Chen of Taipei City Hospital, Deputy Commissioner Wu Hsin-Pei of Department of Economic Development, and Deputy Commissioner Hu Hsiao-Lan of Department of Finance attended the conference to explain the overall pandemic prevention and distress relief policies of Taipei City.
Mayor Ko extended his care for foreign residents of Taipei City in his opening speech and designated Department of Civil Servant Development Commissioner Chou Tai-Chu as the contact person of Taipei City Government for foreign people in Taipei. Representatives of various countries can raise any questions at any time and Taipei City Government will endeavor to provide assistance.
Commissioner Chou stated that the abrupt outbreak of the pandemic once prevented patients with severe COVID-19 from receiving treatment in hospitals. After adoption of effective measures, the number of hospital beds in Taipei City increased to more than 3000. The increase in the number of hospital beds not only solved the problem of insufficient beds, but also supported New Taipei City with receiving COVID-19 confirmed cases. In addition, favorable outcomes were obtained in rapid tests and recruitment of retired health professionals to be devoted to prevention of the pandemic.
Deputy Commissioner Hu of Department of Finance, Deputy Commissioner Wu of Department of Economic Development, and Deputy Superintendent Hsu of Taipei City Hospital briefly explained the nine major distress relief measures and pandemic-related policies. After the briefing, representatives of foreign diplomatic offices and business associations raised questions regarding pandemic prevention and control (real-name registration system), screening and medical seeking procedures, vaccination, industrial distress relief, and taxation reduction measures. The representatives of Taipei City Government replied to each and every question raised by the attendees. At the end, Commissioner Chou indicated that the current strategy of Taipei City is to maintain Level 3 control with the minimum administrative cost until wide vaccination among the people is achieved. After the conference, attending representatives from different countries stated that the conference was held just in time and useful; they also expressed their gratitude toward Taipei City Government’s efforts.