Pharmacies to stop selling face masks on Sundays: CECC

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情中心) on Friday announced that NHI designated pharmacies can decide whether to stop selling face masks on Sundays(NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情中心) on Friday announced that NHI designated pharmacies can decide whether to stop selling face masks on Sundays, effective on April 19 over pharmacy workers’ heavy workload.

In light of their long working hours, the government announced that face masks won’t be sent anymore to the designated pharmacies and local health bureaus across Taiwan on Sundays, the center said.

However, if the pharmacies still have face masks in stock and staff to operate on Sunday, the government would be thankful for their contribution instead of being opposed it.

In addition, the center advised the public to make use of the online face masks ordering system, adding that 2.2 million people had successfully registered for purchasing face masks as of today noon.

The fifth round of online pre-ordering system of face masks runs from April 15 to 17 for which the collection date is set between April 23 and May 6.

As the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the world, Taiwan has reported zero new infection for three days in a week. Many international news outlets have highly praised Taiwan for the effective preventative measures which were put in place back in January.

On Wednesday NHK,  Japan’s national broadcasting organization reported that Taiwan saw zero COVID-19 cases for the first time in a month, stirring online discussions in Japan.

According to NHK, Taiwan had reported imported cases from the U.S. and European countries every day. As of today, the number of infections reached 393 and the death toll hit 6.

However, Taiwan authorities banned foreigners from entering the country as early as March 19 and those who returned to Taiwan must be subjected to 14 days of home isolation, quarantine. Besides, those who violate the rules would be fined up to NT$1 million (US$3,3000), NHK said.

The news outlet added Taiwan Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the CECC, said we still can’t relax although the spread of the virus slowed down a bit. Report on zero new cases is inspiring but we still need to stay cautious, he added.

Many Japanese netizens retweeted NHK’s report and commented, “Taiwan is amazing,” another said, “We should learn from Taiwan,” “Taiwan’s preventive measures are excellent.”

Others added, “Can we exchange our government for Taiwanese government employees?” “After reading this, I understand why Taiwan could do better than western countries.”