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Premier Su: No room for slack in pandemic response

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday received a Ministry of Health and Welfare briefing on the latest developments and response to the COVID-19 situation in Taiwan. He emphasized that there is no room for slack in the pandemic response. Aside from containing cluster infections at production factories, central and local governments should follow the Central Epidemic Command Center's (CECC) guidance on priority groups for vaccination and the order in which the groups should receive vaccination.

Last week saw cluster infections involving foreign migrant workers operating production lines at several high-tech companies. Across the country, more than 60 long-term care facilities have also been hit by cluster infections. The government announced on June 7 that the nation's Level 3 COVID-19 alert will be extended through June 28.

Regarding the factory outbreaks at a science park in Miaoli, Premier Su said efforts will continue to expand screening, isolate patients, and clear out and improve dormitory and working environments. Guidelines on antigen rapid screening testing for companies have also been announced to ensure the safety of the nation's important industrial production lines.

With respect to vaccines, Taiwan has acquired a total of 2.11 million doses, 150,000 of which produced by Moderna were priority distributed throughout the nation on Wednesday to vaccinate frontline workers at hospitals charged with treating COVID patients, said Premier Su. The 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Japan will be released for use on Friday following review and approval. The premier directed the CECC to proceed in accordance with the plans announced Wednesday as regards the vaccination and prioritization of specific groups, in addition to providing oversight to local governments and various ministries and agencies.

Looking ahead to the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival, Premier Su pointed to the many examples globally of cross-regional holiday gatherings leading to coronavirus outbreaks. He called on the people of Taiwan to consider the welfare of their families and hometowns and recognize that the best option is to stay put and relax at home, using videoconferencing to connect and reunite. By so doing, would-be travelers can avoid putting hometown friends and family at risk and spare health workers from further burdens. The premier said that a universal respect for disease prevention regulation coupled with a collective effort by all to fight the epidemic can achieve a healthy and secure Taiwan.

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