A new COVID-19 wave overwhelms pandemic-conscious Taiwan

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Taiwan, one of the countries least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, has been facing a surge of cases since May 11, with 3,161 positive cases reported this month, according to Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control (CDC). Before May, Taiwan had recorded less than 1,200 total COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

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On May 16, Taiwan’s health minister Chen Shih-chung issued a level 3 soft lockdown alert, with restrictions such as mandatory mask-wearing in all public spaces and a 10-people limit to outdoor gatherings.

The greater Taipei city area was the most affected by the new wave. With the restrictions, its wealthiest areas have become empty in the past few days.

The Taiwanese CDC has identified two major infection clusters — one linked to China Airlines’ flights and another to a “sexy tea shop,” entertainment venues where men, usually older, are served intimately by young female waitresses.


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