《TAIPEI TIMES》 CECC issues travel advisory for Tokyo over possibility of community outbreak
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, center, speaks at a news conference at the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taipei yesterday alongside Centers for Disease Control Director-General Chou Jih-haw, left, and Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen. Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
CROSS-STRAIT SQUABBLE: Chen Shih-chung said that the government has given China a list of people to be evacuated from Wuhan, but Beijing has stalled progress
/ Staff writer, with CNA
The Central Epidemic Command Center （CECC） yesterday issued a level 1 “watch” travel notice for Tokyo, saying that people planning to visit the metropolis should take precautions against COVID-19 infection.
Under the government’s three-tier travel advisory system, a level 1 notice urges travelers to take normal precautions and respect disease-prevention measures put in place at their destination.
A level 2 “alert” urges travelers to heighten their vigilance and a level 3 “warning” cautions against nonessential travel.
The center said that it issued the travel advisory because there have been reports in Japan over the past few days of COVID-19 infections from unknown sources, suggesting a potential community outbreak.
Japan has recorded 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, with one death, since the epidemic broke out in Wuhan, China, in December last year.
The center also listed China’s Henan and Zhejiang provinces as primary endemic areas, saying that all people returning from the areas must test negative for COVID-19 in two examinations at a medical facility before they are allowed to leave.
In other developments yesterday, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung （陳時中）, who heads the center, said that the government has provided China with a list of 121 Taiwanese for an evacuation flight out of Wuhan, and that China Airlines （中華航空）, Taiwan’s largest carrier, is ready for the task.
However, China has been stalling the process and insisting that China Eastern Airlines （中國東方航空） fly the charter, as well as rejecting other plans suggested by Taiwan, Chen said.
More than 200 Taiwanese who were stuck in Wuhan after the city was locked down to contain the spread of the virus arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Feb. 3 on a China Eastern Airlines charter flight in the first evacuation of Taiwanese from the city.
However, controversy arose when it was later discovered that three of the 247 people on the flight had not been on a priority list Taiwan provided to China. The problem escalated when one of the three passengers tested positive for COVID-19.
Additional reporting by Chien Hui-ju