Success Story Taiwan faces the worst outbreak in a pandemic

Taipei, Taiwan (AP) — The island of Taiwan, with enviable success in containing COVID-19, imposed new restrictions on the capital on Saturday as it fought the worst outbreak since the pandemic began.

Authorities have raised the alert level in Taipei, the capital, and the area surrounding New Taipei City. Level 3 warnings are valid for 2 weeks, require masks to be worn outdoors, and are limited to 5 indoor gatherings and 10 outdoor gatherings.

Health officials said cases had been identified that had spread to 180 new areas. Most of them were Taipei and Xinbei. This is more than a total of 164 previously confirmed cases throughout the pandemic period. Prior to the three-digit jump announced on Saturday, the daily number of new cases steadily increased from single-digit to 29 earlier this week.

“The epidemic is intensifying,” said Chen Shih-chung, health minister, who said more cases were identified as authorities focused on the hot zone.

Cinemas, museums, indoor pools, and amusement parks, like community colleges and seniors activity centers, were one of the places ordered to be closed under Level 3 warnings.

Taiwan, an autonomous island of about 24 million people off the east coast of China, kept the coronavirus very low. It aggregated 1,475 cases, most of whom were infected from abroad, killing 12 people. The total number of locally prevalent cases increased from less than 100 last week to 344, more than triple last week.