A triathlon competition will take place in Taitung this weekend despite the new wave of the pandemic. Even though the organizers and the 4,000 competitors are advised to follow disease prevention measures, local residents are still very worried.
Taitung residents are very nervous about the rising COVID-19 count in the county. People are going to get tested every day, and schools have suspended classes. Parents are worried not only about their children getting infected, but also how they will put food on the table if they have to quarantine.
Mrs. Lu, Citizen: “What if I get infected by those people? What if my kids get infected? I'm really scared.”
Mr. Chan, Citizen: “If I'm ordered to quarantine, then I'm going to have to take 10-14 or 15 days off.”
Lin Bang-yuan, Taitung County Sports Director: “The way our elementary schools are set up, classes will be canceled right and left by the end of the month. ”
Taitung residents are also worried about the influx of 4,000 triathlon participants this weekend. The organizer says the central government has not ordered the cancellation of the competition so it will still be held. However, the competition course will be fenced off and participants will be asked to provide a negative rapid test. The race route has also been moved away from downtown areas.
Luo Wei-shih, CEO, Challenge Family Asia-Pacific: “(Participants) will keep a certain distance from residents. It's safer that way. We have also adjusted the race route to avoid downtown. The route now goes through Taitung Forest Park and along the coast.”
Yao Ching-ling, Taitung County Magistrate: “We hope our hotels and restaurants can step up sanitation and disinfection.”
Nevertheless, residents remain worried. Both the county government and organizer say the central government is not making any prevention measures mandatory and they can only follow central guidelines.