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Premier: 'New Taiwan model' adapts COVID guidelines to secure economy and livelihoods

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday received a Ministry of Health and Welfare briefing on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government's new model of disease management. The rising trend in the number of domestic confirmed cases has continued for the past week, the premier said, but has not reached exponential growth. Furthermore, over 99.6% of confirmed cases are mild or asymptomatic. The Central Epidemic Command Center has issued guidelines for home care management of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and eased the criteria for release from isolation.

In response to the changing pandemic situation, the government starting Thursday will requisition the production of rapid testing kits. The premier thanked the armed forces for their efforts in facilitating kit production. In addition, the government has already ordered a large quantity of imported rapid tests. The goal is to achieve a monthly supply of 40 million testing kits, allowing sufficient quantities at stable prices for the general population.

The government is working to stockpile treatment drugs while boosting vaccination rates in order to lower the incidence of deaths and severe cases. To strengthen each person's own disease-prevention capability and enhance contact tracing efforts, the premier encouraged members of the public to download the official Taiwan Social Distancing app.

At present the goal of COVID prevention is to create a more resilient "new Taiwan model" that simultaneously aims for normal life, active disease prevention and steady reopening. A rise in COVID cases is inevitable if we are to boost the economy and livelihoods while allowing people to live normal lives, the premier said. The government will, however, closely monitor COVID developments and adjust its response strategies as appropriate to ensure the virus can be controlled.

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