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Taiwan has reported 132 local cases, the third day in a row with a daily figure below 200 in an outbreak that began in late April. Eight other people died.
Most of the cases were again in New Taipei with 65, followed by Taipei with 26 and Miaoli with 18. Miaoli is home to several factories that have recorded epidemics among their employees, most of the cases being linked to migrant workers housed in shelters. dormitories.
Taiwan is currently subject to Level 3 restrictions, limiting gatherings, closing entertainment, sports, and public venues, and restricting take-out restaurants. In some areas, beaches and outdoor areas have been closed to the public. The order has been in effect since May 19 and has been extended until the end of this month.
Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung said the number of cases and deaths had started to decline, which was positive, but also reported high rates of positive infections from 10 to 15% expected as authorities begin to test all migrant workers quarantined in Miaoli.
The issue of migrant workers in Taiwan, including the conditions in which they live and the rights accorded to them, has been a hot topic in Taiwan over the past week. Local governments and some companies are enforcing restrictions and rules that go far beyond the requirements set by the outbreak’s central command center.
The Guardian reported on Friday a company that had ordered workers who lived in their homes to return to dormitories or face penalties. The company said it plans to move people from dormitories to hostels and other accommodation to reduce the risk of the spread.
But human rights groups criticized the ordinance, which prohibited anyone from leaving their homes except to go to work. A similar ordinance was issued by the Miaoli County government.
Critics pointed to the lack of a similar ordinance on local employees who work alongside thousands of migrant workers, accusing local governments and companies of discrimination.
The CECC reminded local governments to follow only their demands, but there does not appear to be any attempt to enforce this.
Authorities are currently inspecting migrant workers’ dormitories across Taiwan, to ensure they meet the disease prevention standards set for this outbreak. Chen said at the press conference this afternoon that of the 1,164 dormitories with more than 50 residents inspected so far, more than 80 percent were up to standard, while the rest needed to make changes, according to local media.