Medical experts say the recent surge in COVID-19 cases may be due to vaccination effectiveness wearing off. In this case, daily infections are likely to increase up to 500 per day around Mid-April.
COVID-19 infections have been increasing in Taiwan, with more than a hundred cases each day for the last four days. Public health experts say that the rise may be due to parts of the population who have not yet received a third shot. Currently, only about 50 percent of the population in Taiwan received booster shots. The percentage has not gone up for a while, which means that for many people, their two previous doses of vaccines have begun losing their effectiveness. One expert estimated that the number of daily infections would surge to 500 per day, with numbers peaking by mid-April.
Chen Hsiu-hsi, Professor, College of Public Health, NTU: “If we can't push more people to get vaccinated with booster shots, I think the number of daily infections could get as high as 500 (per day).”
Fortunately, over 90 percent of the confirmed cases reported between Jan. 1 and April 3 of the current year in 2022 were asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms. There are 1,713 cases in total so far. To conserve healthcare capacity, the Central Epidemic Command Center recently announced that all mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 patients under the age of 65 who are physically capable, will be sent to government quarantine facilities or quarantine hotels instead of the hospital, with two patients per room. This raised some concern as to whether having two patients in one room would increase the risk of cross-infections.
Chiang Kuan-yu, Physician, Zhongxing Branch of Taipei City Hospital: “If you put two patients in one room, they should be two that experience similar symptoms, mild symptoms. If one is sicker than the other, I think the sicker one should be treated alone to be on the safe side.”
COVID-19 patients can be quarantined at home if future cases remain mostly mild or asymptomatic, experts suggest. Experts are also calling on the government to assist senior citizens who have not yet received any vaccination due to health concerns to sign up for the Novavax vaccine when it becomes available in Taiwan since Novavax is known for fewer side effects.