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Taiwan maintains vigilance amid easing of COVID restrictions

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday received a Ministry of Health and Welfare briefing on the latest developments in the COVID-19 situation. While the nation's COVID alert has been lowered to Level 2, Taiwan will remain vigilant by continuing strict controls at the border and conducting thorough contact tracing to find the source of transmissions. The nation will also use third-party policing to hold the front lines of defense and prevent the spread of the virus, while administering vaccinations in an orderly manner to better protect the public.

Last year Taiwan was called a model of disease control thanks to a cooperative populace and tight border measures. This May as COVID variants breached Taiwan's borders, the situation became quite severe, the premier said. He thanked the public, however, for cooperating with the government in an aggressive campaign that brought the outbreak under control over a critical 70-day period.

To support people's livelihoods and allow the public to gradually return to normalcy, the Central Epidemic Command Center and government ministries on Friday announced the lowering of the nation's COVID alert to Level 2, which permitted certain COVID-compliant businesses, industries and sites to resume operation. But even as Taiwan eases restrictions, it will not let down its guard. Through a cautious attitude, the government will slowly ease different restrictions and ensure the job is done right. The premier asked central and local governments to step up awareness campaigns and enforce all regulations to close any loopholes. He also encouraged the entire nation to work together in these efforts.

Regarding vaccinations, the premier thanked the Czech Republic after its Cabinet announced Monday that it would be donating 30,000 vaccine doses to Taiwan. After the U.S., Japan, Lithuania and Slovakia, the Czech Republic is the fifth country to donate vaccines to Taiwan. In 2020 as the coronavirus swept the world, Taipei and Prague that April signed a joint statement on a partnership against coronavirus, proposing close cooperation on disease-prevention supplies. Taiwan has since also donated over 1 million masks and several mask production lines to the European nation. This year when Taiwan faced its own COVID surge, the Czech Republic offered assistance in a true demonstration of the expression "a friend in need is a friend indeed." The advocates behind this donation were Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil and Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, who visited Taiwan in September.

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