Taiwan urges people visiting tourist spots to practice social distancing
Taipei - Taiwan on Monday urged people who visited crowded tourist attractions during a popular festival last week to do some disease control measures to lower the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.
For 14 days, these people are asked to minimize time spent outside, wear a face mask in public, and check their body temperature twice a day, according to the Central Epidemic Command Centre.
"Especially, they should never go to offices, schools, or hospitals if some symptoms have developed," Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung told a news conference, urging them to directly call the epidemic monitoring hotline.
People in Taiwan have been advised to stay at least 1.5 metres away from each other while indoors and one metre away while outdoors.
However, millions of people travelled around the island during a traditional festival, the four-day-long Tomb Sweeping Festival, ending on Sunday.
A number of people visited domestic tourist attractions despite the epidemic.
Chen advised them to "tell their employers about their travel history to certain tourist attractions last week and get permission to work from home."
Schoolchildren should also inform their teachers and try to learn from home for at least two weeks, Chen said.
On Saturday, the centre issued a national alert to residents via the country's Public Warning System, urging them to maintain social distancing at certain crowded tourist spots.
The centre especially urged people to stay away from Kenting, southern Taiwan's most popular beach with a well-known night market, because it was overcrowded.
As of Monday, Taiwan has reported 373 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the potentially lethal respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, including five deaths.dpa