Public Complaints About Rapid Tests Irk Tsai 快篩難買惹民怨 傳蔡英文在中常會動怒

It is reported that President Tsai Ing-wen was furious over the current rapid test kit shortage. Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung did not confirm the report, but said President Tsai did show her concern about the problem.


Long lines outside pharmacies are a common sight since the real name-based, rapid test rationing system was launched. Supplies are extremely short, and many people have come away empty-handed numerous times. This unsatisfactory situation even caused President Tsai Ing-wen to lose her temper at a Democratic Progressive Party Central Standing Committee meeting. She ordered administrative departments to find a solution. When asked to comment, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung said it's because the president cares about the policy.

Chen Shih-chung, Health & Welfare Minister: “She (President Tsai Ing-wen) also hopes that there will be a certain amount available on the market, and that they will be convenient to buy. We are extensively importing rapid tests from overseas. This is also a source. If they are able to enter, perhaps we can design a different way (to distribute them). People will have a choice between brands. (If agreements aren't reached with retailers), then they will be discouraged and won't be willing to sell and that won't be a good thing for our disease prevention.”

Rapid tests are in extremely short supply, and procurement has also become a contentious issue. The Kuomintang revealed on May 4 that a small eatery with a capital of NT$2 million somehow managed to transform itself into Golden Global Biomedicine Co. and win a Ministry of Health and Welfare bid to supply rapid tests. The KMT suspected someone is illegally benefiting.

Lee De-wei, Legislator (KMT): “Did you order (Golden Global Biomedicine Co.) to purchase 17 million rapid tests? ”
Chen Shih-chung, Health & Welfare Minister: “No. ”

Lee De-wei, Legislator (KMT): “Didn't you all examine this company? ”
Chen Shih-chung, Health & Welfare Minister: “Of course we did. However, we have an urgent need and we needed a company with an EUA. There are 12 or 10 that do. We asked them all to come.”


Lin Yi-hua, Legislator (KMT): “You shouldn't have allowed it (Golden Global Biomedicine Co.) to get this business. ”
Chen Shih-chung, Health & Welfare Minister: “I didn't give this business to it. ”

Lin Yi-hua, Legislator (KMT): “What do you mean you didn't? ”
Chen Shih-chung, Health & Welfare Minister: “How am I able to decide who gets to do business and who doesn't? They have to meet qualifications and this company did. Does it have the qualifications as a medical materials supplier to take on this responsibility? It is qualified as a medical materials supplier.”

Mother's Day is this weekend. Taiwan continues to see its daily caseload and deaths ascend. The MOHW estimates the number of new cases on May 11 will be somewhere between 75,244 to 102,743.

 

 

 

長長的人龍就排在藥局外頭,快篩實名制上路後,仍有許多民眾抱怨買不到,讓總統蔡英文在中常會上動怒,要行政部門盡快解決此一問題,對此衛福部長陳時中表示,總統是對此政策表示關心。

衛福部長陳時中表示:「她(總統)也希望在市場能有一定量,而且是比較方便來購買的,這樣的一個快篩,我們向國外廣泛的進口,這也是一個來源,如果進來的話,也許我們可以設計一個其他的方式,因為它各個的包裝各方面都不一樣,所以可以多元來供給,那如果弄到大家廠商都心灰意冷,大家都不願意進,其實對我們的防疫也不是一件好事情。」

除了快篩一劑難求,快篩試劑的採購爭議也成為質詢的焦點,因為4日上午國民黨黨團召開記者會踢爆,高登環球生醫有限公司是由資本額200萬的小吃店變身生醫公司,承接衛福部快篩試劑標案,質疑圖利特定廠商。

國民黨立委李德維問:「是你指定它(高登環球)採購1700萬劑?」衛福部長陳時中說:「沒有。」李德維又問:「你們都不去看看這個公司嗎?」陳時中表示:「這個當然就是說,我們在緊急需要,有這個需要手頭上有這個EUA的廠商,大概12家還10家,大概就請他們全部都來。」

國民黨立委林奕華說:「就不應該給它(高登環球)接這個生意。」陳時中回應:「我沒有給它接。」林奕華問:「怎麼會沒有?」陳時中表示:「我怎麼去限制誰不能接生意?他只要是資格夠、他夠資格,他醫材商的資格是不是能擔負你這樣的責任,他醫材商的資格有啊。」

另外,本周日就是母親節,但近期本土疫情持續創新高且死亡及中重症人數也不斷增加,根據衛福部推估,5月11日新增發病數將達到7萬5244人,也不排除達到10萬2743人。

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