Taipei City Hospital Heping Branch won’t be sealed for now: Mayor Ko

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said on Friday that the Taipei City Hospital Heping Branch (臺北市立聯合醫院和平院區) will not be closed or sealed for now amid reports that two patients unexpectedly tested positive to COVID-19 a day earlier.

Speaking to local media following a meeting with Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), the mayor said that the hospital’s emergency department will suspend operations first, before a throughout disinfection is completed over the next two to three days.

The outpatient department will only accept appointments for now but won’t accept on-site registration, he added.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, left, and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je participate in a press conference on Friday, May 14, 2021. (NOWnews)

The discharged patients, on the other hand, should be effectively isolated for 14 days for observation, he continued. The mayor explained that patients will be discharged step by step, pending a medical review.

In the short term, Mayor Ko said the Heping Branch will be used as an epidemic prevention hospital, like during the recent outbreak of the Taoyuan General Hospital (桃園醫院).

Minister Chen added that “the issue of closing or sealing the Taipei City Hospital Heping Branch is not relevant for now.”

He added that central and local governments are striving to return the risk to zero and gradually restore the hospital’s medical capacity. This is the biggest consensus and the goal of everyone’s efforts, he continued.