Local elections will be held in Taiwan on Nov. 26, which is this Saturday. Experts are reminding the public to keep the masks on and refrain from unnecessary conversations with others to prevent the spread of COVID. Washing hands thoroughly after touching the ballots and stamps is also important.
Saturday, Nov. 26 is Election Day. The government has stated that citizens reporting a positive test result from Monday, 21st will not be allowed to vote on Saturday. Former deputy director-general of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Shih Wen-yih said there are bound to be many patients who will choose not to report to the government so they can vote. Those who have recovered for three months or more and have not received the next-generation bivalent vaccine are recommended not to go vote on Saturday, Shih said.
Shih Wen-yih, Former Deputy Director-general, Centers for Disease Control: “These people should carefully consider and protect themselves wisely. The confirmed number of cases will go down recently because obviously, people want to be able to go vote.”
Some health experts say that voting is a disciplined event; people will be wearing masks and keeping social distance. Taiwan's herd immunity level has reached 60 percent so it is safe for most people to go back to living normally. Those with chronic conditions should remain careful but there is no need for over-concern.
Chen Hsiu-hsi, Professor, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University: “People who are immunocompromised or have chronic conditions should remain careful, but you shouldn't worry so much if you've taken a next-generation vaccine. If you caught COVID at the end of June or after, COVID with BA.2 or BA.5, you're pretty much protected from natural infections. ”
Chiang Kuan-yu, Doctor, Taipei City Hospital: “Do your research well on the candidates beforehand, know who you want to vote for and cast your ballot quickly and leave the place. I think that would help greatly decrease the chance of getting infected.”
Doctor Chiang Kuan-yu said people should remember to wash their hands after leaving the voting booth since they will be touching ballots and stamps. Also, the best advice is to keep conversations to a minimum. Voting booth arrangements and queue solutions are essential to lowering the risk for infection.