Taiwan brands China 'vile' for limiting info during virus outbreak

Elias Hubbard
February 6, 2020

Taiwan dramatically escalated its war of words with Beijing on Tuesday over the island's exclusion from the World Health Organisation, saying "vile" China was preventing Taiwan from getting timely information about the coronavirus outbreak.

Taiwan's health authority also banned all global cruise ships from docking at the island from Thursday amid increasing threat of the coronavirus outbreak, after 10 more people were tested positive for the virus on a quarantined cruise liner in Japan.

Earlier, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that China was using "the right strategy" to combat the virus, but did not refer to the Taiwan controversy. "It is time (for the world) to prepare based on the opportunity created now, which is low spread or slow spread" overseas", Tedros said.

Taiwan has reported 11 cases of infection with the virus.

Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that people placed under mandatory home quarantine should practice self-discipline and observe the restrictions, adding that those whose breach quarantine would be dealt with according to the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法), the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法) and the Criminal Code.

Ma stressed that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has put people's health and safety on the number one position, and that, of course, includes those of Taiwan compatriots.

Taiwan had no new confirmed 2019-nCoV infections yesterday, Chen said, but added that two Taiwanese evacuees from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak, showed mild respiratory symptoms and were quarantined at a hospital for further examination.

The WHO said later it had corrected the figure.

The centre also banned foreigners who have visited Hong Kong or Macau from entering Taiwan, effective Friday.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, writing on her Facebook page, expressed thanks for the efforts of both sides to get her countrymen back home.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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