Digital vaccination certificates are now available for download starting December 28 and are accepted by 60 countries, including EU nations and the US. Meanwhile, doctors say the global situation remains grim as numerous Karate athletes tested positive upon returning to Taiwan.
People were able to start downloading their "Digital COVID-19 Certificate" at 8 a.m. on Dec. 28. The Central Epidemic Command Center said the digital vaccination certificate is like the digital version of Taiwan's yellow card, and can be used in over 60 countries. However, those who received vaccines outside of Taiwan will need to provide additional documentation if traveling to other countries. Some doctors say this is an issue that needs to be resolved immediately.
Wang Jen-hsien, Chair, Taiwan Counter Contagious Diseases Society: “Under the law, you can't exclude these people. Verification is one thing, but what the law stipulates is another. If not, then all foreigners will be subject to extreme restrictions when attending domestic events, and those nationals traveling abroad will also be subject to extreme restrictions. This is very unfair.”
Hwang Kao-pin, Dep. Director, Infection Control Center, CMU Hospital: “Those who return from abroad could have faked their PCR test results or other reports. Their vaccine status might also not be registered clearly if they received vaccines overseas. In light of these circumstances, it's a necessary evil.”
Twelve members of a delegation that participated in the Asian Karate Championships in Kazakhstan and that recently returned to Taiwan have tested positive. Members of other country's delegations have also tested positive. Doctors say this means there were too many infected people locally, making it harder to prevent infection. In addition, no masks were worn while competing, facilitating droplet infection. Even if competitors were fully vaccinated, they could still get infected through a moment of inattentiveness.
Huang Li-min, Honorary Chair, Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan: “You can still get infected with the Omicron variant if you received two or three vaccine doses, but you'll have a milder case. ”
Countries are taking different approaches to disease prevention. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shortened the recommended isolation period for asymptomatic cases from 10 days to five, followed by five days of wearing a mask around others. Local doctors say Taiwan and the US have different population densities, and the Wanhua teahouse outbreak shows that this "5+5" policy would be dangerous for Taiwan.