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[Level 3 COVID Alert] Mayor: Public-private Collaboration to Contain the Pandemic

Deputy Mayor Huang at the press conferenceMayor Ko Wen-je and city officials presided over the pandemic update press conference in the afternoon of May 27.
 
During the event, the mayor remarked that PCR test takes roughly 5 days between testing and the result. That is why later adjustments are required for acquiring accurate statistics on positive cases – unless someone can come up with a way to speed up the testing process.
 
Judging from the corrected figures, we can see that the number of positive cases remained relatively stable, which means that local residents follow the guidelines – unlike many other countries where the initial numbers show exponential growth of cases.
 
The mayor admitted that the past two weeks have been rather taxing for those involved. He also called upon citizens to keep up the good work and continue to hold the number stable. Taipei City Government now hopes that rapid test results can be obtained within 20 minutes of testing. For positive cases, a follow-up PCR test should be carried out as soon as possible for confirmation. Having the individual notify those he or she have encountered is more effective than waiting for doctors to conduct contract tracing after a week.
 
Regarding the rapid test results from the 3 stations established in Wanhua, the mayor noted that the positive rate is 8.7% for May 26, with 67 positive results from the 772 people tested.
 
As for Taipei’s hospital bed capacity, the mayor pointed out that Taipei will expand the number of designated beds to 698 tonight. After factoring all negative pressure, refitted, and designated COVID wards, the total number of beds for pandemic patient is 1034. He expects the number to reach 1,300 next week.
 
In response to questions why there are only 1,000 COVID sickbeds when there are so many hospitals across Taipei City, Ko pointed out that there are different disciplines and specializations in medical science, and it will take time for reorganizing existing systems and retraining staff members. It is unrealistic to expect a cardiologist to perform brain surgery.
 
As for the 22,000 vaccines received from the central government, the mayor pointed out that 11,000 will go to designated COVID hospitals. Currently, the staff of these hospitals have a vaccination rate of 33%. Even if all the 11,000 vaccines are used, we can only raise the rate to 60%. He has notified the people in charge of these hospitals to prioritize staff working at designated COVID wards. For the remaining 11,000 vaccines, the inventory will be controlled by the Department of Health and administered to people on tabulated lists.
 
Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan remarked that the number of quarantine hotels in Taipei continues to expand. Currently, there are a total of 106 hotels with 7,455 rooms. Among these, 7 are enhanced quarantine hotels accounting for 1,019 rooms. Roughly, 1,400 rooms across 51 quarantine hotel shelter people who are unable to quarantine at home. Huang promised that the number of quarantine hotels will continue to grow, to ensure patients receive appropriate service and care during quarantine. However, it is impossible for everyone to secure a room at the enhanced quarantine hotels which include medical personnel.
 
With the central government relaxing guidelines on removing quarantine, the deputy mayor noted that over 1,000 patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms will be discharged from the quarantine hotels over the next few days. This will ensure that rooms at quarantine hotels can be freed up to admit more patients. DOH will also pick up its speed in issuing quarantine notifications, after the central government announced that asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms can self-isolate at home.