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Gov't prepares to deal with MERS outbreak

May 29, 2015 TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) yesterday announced that preventive measures will be taken in order to tackle the MERS-CoV virus (中東呼吸症候群冠狀病毒感染症), as it was

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) yesterday announced that preventive measures will be taken in order to tackle the MERS-CoV virus (中東呼吸症候群冠狀病毒感染症), as it was reported that the virus has made its way past China's borders as of press time.

During the Executive Yuan's weekly meeting, Mao commented on the Ministry of Health and Welfare's (MHW) report regarding the virus, that while the MERS-CoV virus is currently concentrated in the Middle East, people could still come into contact with the virus due to interaction at international events.

According to the MHW's report, health officials concluded that the virus' community-acquired infection risk is still relatively low. The likelihood of human transmission is unclear as the virus has not mutated yet, health authorities said.

Also, the MHW said that the World Health Organization suggested that countries not implement travel restricts yet, as the situation in South Korea has not reached a level warranting travel bans.

For the sake of safety, Mao called for the MHW to begin six main prevention measures: to continue monitoring the outbreak, risk assessment, customs inspection and quarantine, pathogen investigations, preparing the medical health care-related institutions, risk communication and international cooperation.

Mao also asked the MHW to continue keeping the public up to date with the latest news of the virus, as to not only educate people, but also to keep the panic from spreading among the public.

Seven diagnosed cases have been confirmed in South Korea as of press time. The newest cases reported yesterday are a health worker and a patient who was staying in the hospital where the diagnosed health worker is employed. Both have undergone quarantine treatment.

 

Falling Oil Prices Contribute to Recession: Mao

The National Development Council's (NDC, 國發會) report that Taiwan's economic monitoring indicator had flashed blue was another topic on the agenda yesterday.

Mao said that a "stable and healthy industry" can weather the recent unstable international fluctuation, further explaining that while the first quarter's imports saw a decline, there is also news of the nation's improving international competitiveness.

"On a global scale, the economy will likely see improvement in the second half of the year," said Mao.

Other government sectors should maintain a lookout on the economic developments and take preventative measures, as the fluctuation in the recent two months has already had a significant effect on Taiwan's economy, Mao said.

In a previous meeting with the Central Bank of the Republic of China (中央銀行), the Ministry of Economic Affairs (經濟部) and the NDC, insights regarding the recession in the first quarter were discussed. Mao said that the recession could have resulted from the fall in oil prices, as processed oil makes up a high percentage of Taiwan's exports.

While Mao also pointed out that Taiwan's export volume has increased, the overall export value has plummeted due to decreasing prices, resulting in a lower output value and creating a downturn.

While Taiwan's economic downturn is ultimately tied to the unstable international economy, Mao concluded that more effort should be made in restructuring the nation's industries.

Source:http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2015/05/29/437128/Govt-prepares.htm

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