Taiwan continues its successful response to COVID with a large scale antibodies program 2
Taiwan has been globally lauded for its COVID response. Photo by Mihály Köles on Unsplash
Culture

Taiwan continues its successful response to COVID with a large scale antibodies program

Plus Singapore and Victoria show declining numbers, bars and restaurants reopen in Aberdeen, and Poland shortens its quarantine period. BY JACS T. SAMPAYAN
JACS T. SAMPAYAN | Aug 30 2020

As the world remains mired in COVID-19 case counts and alarming updates, it’s hard to look past everyone’s grim newsfeeds. But opening our eyes wider to a bigger world that is, albeit slowly, starting to stand up should give us hope—or at least an easier day. ANCX will regularly gather positive developments in different corners of the globe to show that, in trying to move forward, we can confidently train our eyes upward.

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Results for Taiwan’s large scale COVID antibodies program encouraging

Last Thursday it was announced that a large scale COVID-19 antibodies program conducted in Taiwan ended up with encouraging results. Participants of the project, collaborated on by National Taiwan University’s College of Public Health and the Changhua County government, showed low exposure rates. Mass testing for the project was from June to August, working with four high-risk groups as well as a control group. The testing also showed that there is a slow rate of infection and low risk of community transmission, underscoring its government’s—particularly that of the Central Epidemic Command Centre’s—laudable efforts in containing COVID. It is great news that the participants showed low exposure rates, which means these people are more likely to be immune against the virus. Taiwan has been recognized around the world for its swift action against the disease, and has had only 488 and seven deaths.

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Singapore has lowest COVID daily count in five months

On Tuesday, Singapore reported 31 new coronavirus cases, its lowest overnight tally in more than five months. Earlier in the year, the nation’s COVID-19 cases jumped sharply after mass outbreaks in migrant worker dormitories, but has recently seen steady declines as those dormitories have been cleared of the virus. The Southeast Asian country is going through its deepest ever recession, made worse by a months-long lockdown. The government will try to wake up its struggling tourism and trade by reopening borders next month, albeit with a lot of precaution. To date, Singapore has had 56,771 COVID cases and 27 deaths.

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Poland shortens quarantine period by four days

Poland’s Health Minister Adam Niedzielski told media on Thursday that the European country will shorten its quarantine period by four days. Instead of the usual 14 days quarantine, those suspected to have the dreaded disease will be asked to isolate for 10 days. Two days ago, the government announced that it will be banning entry from 46 countries to stem the tide of infections. Poland currently has 66,870 total COVID cases and 2,033 related deaths.

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Bars and restaurants reopen in Scottish city

A three-week lockdown was lifted in Aberdeen, Scotland was recently lifted, allowing bars, cafes, and restaurants to reopen. The lockdown was implemented on August 5 after a surge in cases was linked to the city’s nightlife establishments. Before these dining and drinking spots can reopen, however, they must pass an inspection by environmental health officers, who have so far checked 327 venues. This reopening comes after a five-mile restriction on travel ended last Monday. To date, there have been 20,107 COVID cases in Scotland, and 2,494 related deaths.

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Victoria daily COVID tally drops to under 100 for the first time in more than a month

For the first time in early July, the daily tally for new coronavirus patients in Victoria, Australia has dropped below 100; It only had 94 new cases, its lowest since July 5. While this trend is encouraging, Victoria premier Daniel Andrews says the numbers need to drop even further for them to even consider easing restrictions. “We still have to see further days of these numbers dipping and we want them to come down to a very low number—the lowest number we can get them to—because that will mean we can have much greater confidence that we can stay on top of this and open up,” he says.

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