The COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan has plateaued, with cases at a high but stable level, the government said Friday. It is progressively removing restrictions and allowing the island live with the virus.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung warned illnesses may be high for a while. He predicted late-May peaking.
More than 94,800 cases and 126 COVID-related deaths were both records, although Chen noted a trend.
The ministry said daily cases were stable. “They’ve plateaued recently. This peak should soon end.”
Even with 70,000 to 90,000 cases a day, the administration is determined to stop its zero-COVID policy, which includes blocking borders.
Chen said hospital beds for COVID patients were at 59% occupancy and the pressure on medical resources was stable, however, the government was watching a fatality measure.
He urged hospitals to allocate enough intensive-care units for COVID patients.
The administration calls its policy move the “new Taiwan model” – progressively living with the virus and avoiding an economic shutdown. Shops, restaurants, and gyms are open and meetings are allowed, but masks are compulsory.
In heavily vaccinated Taiwan, most individuals had minor or no symptoms from the Omicron form.
The minister stated border rules are being relaxed. Without elaborating, he indicated June will bring new policies.
“Taiwan’s borders will reopen,” he stated. “It’s necessary.”
Taiwan has never been in a full lockdown, but its borders are mostly closed to non-citizens.