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City to Mobilize Quarantine Hospital, Set up 7 Midsize Vaccination Centers

A government poster calling upon the public to get vaccinatedMayor Ko Wen-je presided over the Taipei City Government Pandemic Prevention Press Conference on January 12 to update the public on Taipei’s latest policies.
He noted that among the four domestic COVID-19 cases reported today, one of the patients resides in Beitou. Case 17588 is a 60-year old male who works as a caretaker at the hospital and has been in isolation after testing positive (CT value 34) on January 10. A subsequent test showed a CT value of 40, and the authority classified it as an old case with limited impact. Nonetheless, disinfection is being carried out at public places which the patient has visited as required.
However, Ko pointed out that a more serious issue is the jump of imported cases to 92 in a day. From his experience in the medical field, he finds it alarming that despite the high vaccination rates in advanced countries and the high frequency of PCR test, it is quite shocking to find 92 cases in a day among the arrivals – especially that 52 individuals tested positive at the airport. While further investigation may be required, this trend bears testimony to the severity of the pandemic across the world. Currently, there are 180 COVID patients hospitalized in Taipei, and none of the cases require ventilators. He believes that this is a sign that the pandemic is becoming more flu-like and less fatal. This is something to consider when devising pandemic prevention policies in the future.
The mayor reported that there is a total of 585 beds in COVID wards across Taipei, with 349 beds still available. The current strategy is to fill up the beds at Heping Hospital and Tri-service General Hospital before activating the wards at other hospitals. Among the 200 patients quarantined, the majority either have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. Hospital bed availability is updated on a daily basis.
Regarding quarantine hotels, the mayor announced that authorities have completed air conditioner and ventilation checks for 165 quarantine hotels over the past two weeks. A total of 159 hotels either received the green light or carried out suggested improvements. Five establishments are still implementing changes, while 1 hotel is in the process of filing report. Roughly half of the hotels have already met the requirements, with the majority of the remaining establishments correcting minor issues within 3 days. Such flaws include adjusting air con exhaust emission and adding ventilation equipment. The inspection teams comprise medical workers from Taipei City Hospitals, who make routine trips to quarantine hotel every week. If they discover any compliance issues, the hotel will have to implement changes and report back within 3 days.
As for vaccination, lists have been made for quarantine hotel staff and quarantine bus drivers. They have scheduled booster shot appointments at city hall between January 12 and 14. Hospitals will be responsible for checking the vaccination status of caretakers and janitors working at the facility. 
Ko also announced the city government’s plan to set up seven midsize vaccination centers in Taipei next week. The Department of Health is discussing details with hospitals and clinics to secure manpower. On Friday (January 14), Taipei’s Vaccination Booking System will be available online for people to make reservations. Of course, vaccination appointments can also be made via the system of the respective hospitals and clinics. The city’s booking system will continue to operate through January 23.