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《TAIPEI TIMES》 CDC lifts mask rule for medical institutions


Two women and a caregiver, all wearing masks as required at long-term care centers, are pictured playing a game at a dementia care center in Pintung County on April 11.
Photo: CNA

Two women and a caregiver, all wearing masks as required at long-term care centers, are pictured playing a game at a dementia care center in Pintung County on April 11. Photo: CNA

2024/05/09 03:00

By Lin Hui-chin and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporter, with staff writer

Masks are no longer to be required in medical institutions from Sunday next week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced yesterday, officially ending all COVID-19 mask restrictions.

Masks would be recommended rather than mandatory in all medical institutions and centers for the elderly, CDC Deputy Director-General Tseng Shu-hui (曾淑慧) said following an expert meeting to assess the COVID-19 situation.

The decision was made after considering similar policies set by the WHO, as well as the US, UK and other nations, Tseng said.

Under the guidelines, those exhibiting respiratory symptoms should not enter medical institutions unless necessary, but if they do, they should wear a mask until at least five days after symptoms ease.

Those who have had close contact with someone exhibiting respiratory symptoms and those at high risk of developing complications are also advised to wear a mask in medical institutions, the guidelines say.

Those younger than two or who have trouble wearing a mask should cover their mouth with tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of it after use.

Meanwhile, a statement about expiration dates on the 10 million free COVID-19 tests that the CDC plans to distribute to more than 4,500 National Health Insurance-contracted pharmacies nationwide has sparked concern among members of the public.

The 10 million kits have expiration dates ranging from the end of May to December, and 1.5 million of them would be effective until the end of December, but the majority of the kits would expire by the end of June, the CDC said on Tuesday.

Members of the public are concerned whether the efficacy of the test kits would be affected.

Food and Drug Administration Deputy Director-General Wang Te-yuan (王德原) yesterday said that “close to expiry” means the rapid test kits have not yet expired and can be used normally.

“If the test kits have expired, it is advised to dispose of them as general waste and refrain from using them,” he said.

Additional reporting by CNA

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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