Local daily Covid cases fell under 200 for four consecutive days from Sunday to today, with Tuesday, June 15 seeing 132 domestic cases, the lowest since May 14, and eight deaths. However, local cases and deaths increased today, June 16, to 167 and 18.
One very disappointing aspect of Taiwan’s Covid response is the poor treatment of migrant Southeast Asian workers such as being forced to remain indoors in Miaoli County. One company in Taoyuan County forced its workers to move from private residences into dorms, as reported by the Guardian’s Helen Davidson. The lack of a strong response from central and local authorities, as well as a lack of awareness among the Taiwanese public, is also a factor, as argued in this feature by Taipei Times.
The low number of available vaccines has resulted in vaccines becoming a divisive and politicized issue with the influence of China looming such as through the supposedly foiled deal for BioNTech vaccines, as reported by Vice. Other controversies include domestic vaccines, which are being fast-tracked for use to try and make up the local shortage, as well as an offer by China to provide its domestic vaccines, as reported by the Guardian.
Taiwan started offering vaccinations to certain segments of the general public, specifically the elderly aged over 75, on Tuesday, June 15.
Sadly, two nonagenarians in Taichung died soon after getting AstraZeneca vaccines on Tuesday, June 16, though it has not been determined what exactly they died from.
Taiwanese vaccine maker Medigen has filed for Emergency Use Authorization for its Covid vaccine after having announced the results of its phase two testing last week.
Japan’s donation of 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Taiwan was not just meant to help Taiwan but also to assert itself against China, as reported by Al-Jazeera.
Twenty-eight Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, June 15, the most ever reported to date. The planes included fighters, bombers and anti-submarine aircraft, with some flying close to Taiwan’s southern tip.
While the Covid outbreak might be getting better, the ruling DPP government will still have to worry about the referendums this summer, as reported by Nikkei Asia.
Manufacturers are under pressure due to the Covid outbreak, with over 65 percent of respondents saying their orders had decreased since the start of the outbreak last month.
A little-known piece of Taiwan’s history is that as a Japanese colony, it hosted prisoner-of-war camps during World War II that held over 4,300 Allied prisoners, as reported by the BBC.