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Executive Yuan proposes extending special COVID-19 relief act one more year

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In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases globally and the recent outbreaks in Taiwan, the Executive Yuan on Thursday approved draft amendments to Articles 11 and 19 of the Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens to extend the term of the act and increase its special budget.

Premier Su Tseng-chang said that the world is seeing wave upon wave of COVID-19 infections. Currently in the fourth wave, the global pandemic continues to grow with no signs of slowing down. In Taiwan, the special COVID-19 relief act previously passed by the Legislature runs through June 30 this year, so the Executive Yuan on Thursday approved amendments to extend the act one more year, through June 30, 2022, to strengthen disease prevention, financial relief and economic stimulus efforts. The proposed amendment also seeks to raise the ceiling on the special budget to NT$630 billion (US$22.5 billion).

Looking at other nations, Premier Su said the United States has expanded its COVID-19 response budget five times to more than NT$144 trillion (US$5.2 trillion), Japan three times to over NT$80 trillion (US$2.9 trillion), and the European Union twice to NT$43 trillion (US$1.5 trillion). In comparison, Taiwan has spent the least amount but has seen the most effective results.

The amendments, drafted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, will be forwarded to the Legislature for approval.

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