Taiwan's Lunar New Year quarantine system went into effect on Dec. 14. There were some complaints and even altercations on the first day.
The new quarantine system for the Lunar New Year period went into effect on Dec. 14. People entering Taiwan from non-key high-risk countries can choose between a "10+4" or "7+7" quarantine program. They spend the first part of quarantine at disease prevention hotels or centralized government facilities and are allowed to complete the remainder of their quarantine at home with a negative PCR test result.
Traveler: “It was already really exhausting to get here. The road to return home was tough. ”
Reporter: “Very tough. The procedures are too troublesome. ”
Traveler: “They're too complicated.”
Many travelers were unfamiliar with procedures. Meanwhile, experts worry that the Omicron variant is already the dominant variant and breakthrough infections can occur. They recommend another PCR test before the end of quarantine.
Huang Li-min, Honorary Chair, Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan: “People at home or undergoing the last seven days may forget the rules of quarantine. They may be in contact with other people. These situations of course pose risks. ”
A British study took the blood serum of people who received two doses of the AZ vaccine 28 days after the second dose to study the neutralizing effect on the Omicron variant. It found that it was practically zero. Meanwhile, two doses of the BNT vaccine offered some protection. Domestic experts say it appears that two vaccine doses don't offer protection against Omicron, regardless of brand, and recommend that people get third doses to boost the protection to 70 to 80 percent.
Lee Ping-ing, Member, Advisory Specialist Panel, CECC: “The effect of AZ plus AZ won't be equal to zero. If you got the AZ vaccine first, then you stimulated your T cell response. If you then add another vaccine, it's supposed to also provoke a very good immune response. ”
The Central Epidemic Command Center says the 14-day quarantine period for the Lunar New Year won't change. It will be followed by seven days of self-health management. It urges returning travelers to follow regulations, and people to get vaccinated. This will reduce the risk of serious cases and death if the virus is able to spread at the community level.