TAIPEI: Taiwan reported 583 domestic COVID-19 infections on Thursday (Jun 3), including 219 cases added to recent days’ totals as it reflected delays in reporting positive tests.
The figure was an increase from the 549 cases reported on Wednesday.
The rise in new cases came as Taiwan’s health ministry is set to receive an extra NT$79.2 billion (US$2.87 billion) in spending to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including buying vaccines.
This was announced by the government on Thursday as it detailed a stimulus package approved this week.
Taiwan’s parliament approved on Monday an extra NT$420 billion in spending to help the economy deal with the virus’ impact, as the island curbs business activity to counter a spike in domestic infections.
The new money is in addition to previous stimulus spending worth NT$420 billion, and the funding will run until Jun 30 next year.
Taiwan’s Cabinet said the money for the health ministry would go towards buying and testing vaccines and medicines, and to help improve monitoring and testing for the virus.
Taiwan has millions of vaccines on order, but has so far only vaccinated about 3 per cent of its 23.5 million people, mostly with just the first shot.
“This wave of the pandemic came quickly and urgently, affecting many families and industries,” Premier Su Tseng-chang told a news conference.
The economy ministry will get NT$58.4 billion in extra money to help companies with salaries and loan financing, while other departments will get cash to help children studying at home, hotels and other affected companies and people.
The central bank is also running a separate NT$400 billion programme to provide preferential loans to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Taiwan’s government has repeatedly sought to allay fears that the current outbreak of domestic infections will affect the export-dependent economy, a major global supplier of semiconductors.
Taiwan’s stock market has largely shaken off concerns about the coronavirus impact after initially swooning.
Infections have been heavily concentrated in Taipei and its nearby cities, and although the numbers have not exploded they are also not falling dramatically.
Taiwan has reported more than 9,000 infections since the pandemic began, including 149 deaths.
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