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Taipei will be prepared if ordered to lockdown: Mayor

People attend an event organised by Taiwanese NGO Fake News Cleaner on how to spot and report suspected fake news, in New Taipei City, Taiwan, on Dec 14, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TAIPEI, Mar 26, 2020, Taiwan News. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said on Wednesday (March 25) that the capital will be prepared if it is placed on lockdown due to the escalating coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, CNA reported, Taiwan News reported.

Taiwan’s central government has the authority to decide whether Taipei residents should hunker down to fight the pandemic, Ko said, adding that his city would have plans in place to respond to such a scenario.

However, the mayor added, “We are mostly doing tabletop exercises and will need to discuss the details with the central government.”

In the face of the global spread of COVID-19, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) told CNA during an interview on Tuesday that Taiwan currently has a low number of cases, most of which are traceable, and that there is therefore no need to lock the country down. If a national lockdown is deemed necessary, two million people will be affected in Taipei City alone, Chen added.

With regard to the recent surge of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, Ko said that most are cases that were imported from other countries, which means people in Taiwan are doing the right things, such as wearing masks and washing hands frequently.

In response to Taipei City Councilor Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇) urging Taipei residents to wear face masks on public transportation, Ko said that during his recent MRT and bus rides, he had seen 98 percent of the passengers wearing masks.

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