Taiwan calls China’s coronavirus lockdown ‘brutal’, says it won’t follow in its footsteps 2022-04-30 21:22:00

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Passengers wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) ride on the Taipei Subway in New Taipei, Taiwan, April 22, 2022. REUTERS/Annabelle Cheh

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TAIPEI (Reuters) – Chinese Prime Minister Su Tsingchang said on Sunday that the lockdowns imposed by China to control the spread of COVID-19 were “cruel” and that Taiwan would not follow suit.

After controlling the epidemic through strict border controls and quarantines, Taiwan has been dealing with an increase in local infections since the beginning of this year, with about 75,000 infections driven by the omicron.

But with more than 99% of those with mild or no symptoms, a handful of deaths so far and high vaccination levels, the government has moved to ease restrictions as it seeks to return to normal life and gradually reopen the island of 23 million people. in front of the outside world. .

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By contrast, giant Taiwan’s neighbor China has imposed tight lockdowns in Shanghai and tightened controls in the capital, Beijing.

Speaking during a visit to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, Su said the epidemic containment measures “have won the world’s praise.”

“We will not lock down countries and cities as hard as China,” he said, adding that Taiwan’s methods are “gradual.”

“We have a plan, and there is a rhythm to it.”

China claims that Taiwan is democratically governed as its own territory, and the two rarely miss an opportunity to exchange barbs during the pandemic.

Last week, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Taiwan’s new model for dealing with the epidemic would lead to many deaths.

Life has mostly continued as normal in Taiwan, although there has been disruption in some schools, and the government is looking to further relax quarantine rules.

All arrivals to Taiwan are required to isolate for 10 days, rules that large parts of Asia have already abandoned.

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(Ben Blanchard Report). Editing by William Mallard

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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