The Central Epidemic Command Center announced that the quarantine period for the confirmed COVID cases will be shortened to five days starting Nov. 14. Health experts advise the public to continue to mask up and wash hands.
The Central Epidemic Command Center announced that starting Nov. 14, it will shorten the seven-day quarantine for confirmed COVID cases to five days. Health experts agree with the change since it allows people who are healthy enough to get back to work quickly. The good outweighs the bad. However, experts would like to remind the public that those who still test positive on the 6th day can still be somewhat contagious since everyone heals at a different pace. Those who choose to go out while still being positive after 5 days can still pose a risk to others.
Huang Li-min, Honorary Chair, Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan: “I would say around 5 percent of people who decide to go out to public places after the 5th day to the 7th day are still contagious. Those people should make it a top priority to keep their masks on while going out.”
Meanwhile, Taiwan is currently administering Moderna Omicron BA.1 bivalent mRNA vaccine booster nationwide. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also recently issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the next-generation bivalent COVID-19 vaccines from BNT and Moderna that target the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. They will be suitable for people aged 12 and above. One health expert shared his concern that the government has no current plans of purchasing Pfizer-BNT bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of 12 since authorities are still trying to finish administering the original Moderna vaccines.
Wang Jen-hsien, Chair, Taiwan Counter Contagious Diseases Society: “Children aged 5 and 6 are a small group within the whole population. They are not involved in voting for elections so they can be neglected. How about buying 10 to 20 thousand doses for them? You should go ahead and give them some vaccines. They have become victims, the poor ones without vaccines under current policy.”
Wang urged Taiwan to purchase Pfizer-BNT bivalent vaccines suitable for children aged 5 and above since Moderna's bivalent vaccines are only suitable for children aged 6 and above. Meanwhile, the CECC said the first batch of Moderna's next-generation bivalent COVID-19 vaccines should arrive in early November and will be available to the public later this month. The government will make progressive adjustments based on how vaccination goes.