Expert Dismisses Concerns About Resurgence 疫情再起? 專家稱第3劑涵蓋率72%免擔憂

Border restrictions will be completely lifted on Oct. 13 but there are concerns that the domestic epidemic situation will worsen.

The first step in reopening Taiwan's borders took effect on Sept. 29. The Executive Yuan also announced that the next step will be implemented on Oct. 13. Starting on that day, quarantine will no longer be required for inbound travelers, but there will still be a seven-day self-initiated epidemic prevention period.

Lo Ping-cheng, Minister without Portfolio & Executive Yuan Spokesperson: “We'll further relax border controls on Oct. 13 and officially implement the "0+7" quarantine scheme for inbound travelers. The weekly cap will be 150,000 and visa exemption treatment will be fully restored. The ban on inbound tour groups will also be lifted.”

There are concerns that the domestic epidemic situation will worsen once the doors are opened. One expert says that returning to normal life requires going through labor pains in order to learn how to coexist with the virus. The third-dose vaccine coverage rate is already at 72 percent, so even if a new variant emerges, the number of new daily cases won't be higher than 50,000 in the future.

Lee Ping-ing, Member, Specialist Advisory Panel, CECC: “Sometimes the number of new daily cases surpasses 50,000. It's not something that can't happen. However, generally speaking, we don't anticipate it to surge soon during this time.”

The domestic situation is still in a plateau period. A grassroots clinic doctor discovered that cases of COVID-19 and flu are both on the rise. Some people are experiencing respiratory symptoms, but test negative for COVID-19 and positive for the flu.

Lu Yuan-chang, Doctor: “They test negative in rapid tests for COVID-19 and I think their symptoms are very similar to flu, so I test them for that and it's confirmed that they have Type A influenza.”

The government-funded flu vaccine campaign will kick off on Oct. 1 and will be implemented in two stages. The CECC says people can get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as long as they are administered in different limbs. Meanwhile, Novavax vaccines will be available starting on Sept. 30, including for teenagers aged 12 to 17. Starting on Oct. 3, medical personnel, workers at airports and ports of entry, flight crews, and border disease prevention personnel will be eligible to receive Moderna's second-generation vaccine. Twelve weeks must have passed since their previous dose.