Chinese students currently enrolled in Taiwanese universities can apply to remain there, it said. To ensure the education rights of Chinese students, the ministry offered other learning resources, such as online courses, as alternatives. Since Taiwan’s government allowed Chinese students to study in Taiwan from 2011, it has not altered its policy of welcoming Chinese students, he said. Nearly 8,000 Chinese students have enrolled in Taiwan’s schools, although only 800 are currently in Taiwan, he said. About 40 percent of the Chinese students that apply to graduate schools in Taiwan are already in Taiwan studying for a bachelor’s degree, he said.
Taiwan Ratings lowers credit rating on Yulon MotorBy Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterTaiwan Ratings Corp (台灣信評) yesterday lowered its long-term issuer credit rating on Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) from “twA-” to “twBBB+,” saying its profitability could remain weak amid ongoing business restructuring and a likely weaker dividend payout from affiliate Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產). Yulon’s debt leverage has nearly doubled after its consolidation of HAITEC and the prospect of a significant improvement over the next one to two years is limited, Taiwan Ratings said. Yulon Motor plans to lower its debt leverage in the next one to two years by selling some of its financial assets and industrial land. Furthermore, weak auto demand in China could stifle Yulon’s efforts to improve its EBITDA next year, Taiwan Ratings said. Dongfeng Motor resumed sales of Nissan-branded vehicles in February in China, where the pandemic appears to be under control, Taiwan Ratings said.
Virus Outbreak: CECC orders hostess clubs, dance halls to suspend operationsBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterThe Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday ordered that all hostess clubs and dance halls suspend operations, effective immediately, as it reported one new case of COVID-19 in the nation. The new case — the nation’s 380th — is a man in his 20s who is a roommate of the nation’s 322nd case, the center said. Health authorities have disinfected the university attended by the 322nd and 380th cases, including dormitories and public areas, said Chen, who heads the center. The university yesterday said in a statement that it on Wednesday received a notice from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of a second confirmed case of COVID-19 at the school. As it had already begun school-wide distance learning on Monday, the suspension of on-campus classes is to end on Friday next week, the university said.
The shrine of the Sufi saint Sidi Ali Bousserghine in SefrouMany Muslims in Morocco make pilgrimages to holy sites to venerate saints. Some scholars say the surging popularity of such pilgrimages signals a new assertiveness by Moroccan Jews. As for the Muslim Moroccans, they invoke the Jewish saints and implore their help, especially in the area of healing. Hassan Majdi has about 90 Jewish saints worshiped by Muslims. The belief in saints is still very strong among Moroccan Jews, even if they have left Morocco to Israel a half century ago (9).
April 08, 2020 16:18 UTC
Virus Outbreak: Kinpo to make masks, ventilatorsBy Natasha Li / Staff reporterNew Kinpo Group (新金寶集團) yesterday said it plans to launch production of masks and ventilators next month to help combat the spread of COVID-19. “We will have a combined output of 2 million surgical masks and 1,000 ventilators per month,” a group official surnamed Koo (顧) told the Taipei Times by text message. The group would also donate about 200 3D masks to health professionals in Taiwan, Shen said. Kinpo posted a 17.56 percent year-on-year decline in net profit for last year of NT$453.74 million (US$15.04 million). The dividend must be approved by Kinpo shareholders at this year’s annual general meeting on June 22.
Virus Outbreak: Domestic travel guidelines outlinedRESTRICTIONS: The public would be warned against visiting popular theme parks if the venues reach their safe capacity, while scenic areas can limit visitor numbersBy Shelley Shan / Staff reporterThe Ministry of Transportation and Communications yesterday outlined travel guidelines for long weekends to prevent cluster infections of COVID-19 and said that it would officially declare them soon. Others have suggested that the government target 11 popular travel destinations with text messages reminding people to practice social distancing. The ministry and the CECC have jointly stipulated general principles governing the size of crowds in scenic areas, travel destinations and hotels, Chi said. Visitors to indoor facilities would be asked to enter and exit venues from a single point of access, Chi said. As travel destinations are overseen by different government agencies, each agency would have to set its own criteria to regulate the entry of visitors, Chi said.
Virus Outbreak: KMT calls for cash grant instead of relief couponsBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterThe government should issue cash handouts instead of coupons as part of its relief and recovery plan for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang, right, chairs a meeting of the KMT Central Standing Committee in Taipei yesterday. Local governments have “almost no role” in a NT$60 billion special budget approved by the Legislative Yuan last month, the KMT said. Amid the intensifying calls from the KMT for cash handouts this week, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Tuesday said that the effectiveness of distributing cash would not be great. Many of the Executive Yuan’s plans involve giving out cash, Su said.
India turns to Taiwan for cricketGLOBAL REACH: Taiwan Cricket said that up to five sides could play in a broadcast competition and that upgrading local infrastructure would be beneficial to a dealBy Grant Dexter / Staff reporterBroadcasting companies are turning to Taiwan for cricket content amid the shutdown of the sport in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An Internet streaming platform based in Mumbai, India, yesterday contacted Taiwan Cricket asking for rights to stream games in Taipei to its cricket-starved audience, which it put at 75 million people. Yesterday, another India-based live sports streaming platform was seeking a “Taiwan cricket partnership.”The concrete pitch at the Yingfeng Cricket Ground in Taipei’s Songshan District is pictured yesterday. Taiwan Cricket — which is not recognized by the government — promotes the sport and organizes games among teams nationwide. There are at least six sides who could potentially be part of a broadcast competition at the Yingfeng Cricket Ground in Taipei’s Songshan District: the Taipei Cricket Association, Pakistan Cricket Club Taipei, the Hsinchu Titans, the Taipei Dragons, Indian Cricket Club Taipei and Formosa Cricket Club.
Virus Outbreak: Institutes unveil prototype rapid test kitBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe National Health Research Institute (NHRI) and the National Defense Medical Center yesterday announced a prototype COVID-19 rapid diagnostic kit that can provide results in about 15 minutes. The NHRI and the center’s Institute of Preventive Medicine used SARS-CoV antibodies produced during the SARS outbreak in 2003 and picked out one that can identify SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, to develop the rapid test kit. After spending a month developing the test kit, the institutes yesterday in Taipei presented the prototype to pharmaceutical companies in the hope of achieving technology transfers and starting mass production. National Institute of Infectious Disease and Vaccinology Director Liao Ching-len explains the functions of a prototype COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tool in Taipei yesterday. If the procedures go smoothly, the test kit could be out in three months, Liang said.
Foreign fund outflow totals US$10bnBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterThe nation’s net foreign fund outflow last month totaled US$10.389 billion, an all-time record, due to panic-selling by foreign institutional investors, the Financial Supervisory Commission said yesterday. Most foreign institutional investors last month moved their funds out of Taiwan, pushing up fund outflows to a record-high level, Securities and Futures Bureau Deputy Director-General Tsai Li-ling (蔡麗玲) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The commission said that fund outflows are a dynamic movement of foreign funds, especially during major events such as during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis or the European debt crisis, which triggered foreign fund outflows of NT$7.52 billion in October 2008 and NT$8.02 billion in August 2011 respectively. In the first three months, Taiwan saw a foreign net fund outflow of US$12.99 billion, the highest level for a first quarter, while Chinese institutional investors reported a much smaller net fund outflow of US$12 million during the period, the data showed. Net foreign fund outflows would slow down this month, as foreign institutional investors have eased back on selling in the local equity market and the TAIEX yesterday climbed back above 10,000 points, Tsai said.
Virus Outbreak: Three new COVID-19 cases confirmedTAKING IT SLOW: Chen Shih-chung said while it would be nice to use a mask or two each day, they are disease prevention resources that must be rationed out carefullyBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday announced three new COVID-19 cases — two imported and one domestic — bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 379. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the domestic case, No. A pack of masks and accompanying note sent to Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung by a 10-year-old boy are pictured in Taipei yesterday. She experienced a sore throat and diarrhea the next day, but took medicine on her own to relieve the symptoms, he said. “It is moving to see a child so young who already knows to ration masks to help others,” he said.
Virus Outbreak: Taiwanese-Danish firm develops testing deviceBy Yang Mien-chieh and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerTaiwanese-Danish firm BluSense Diagnostics has developed a device to diagnose COVID-19 with 90 percent certainty within 12 minutes using one drop of blood, and the EU next month could license it for use and it could be available in Taiwan by June. Company president Filippo Bosco and executive vice president Jessie Sun (孫偉芸) yesterday demonstrated the machine at a news conference. A BluSense Diagnostics ViroTrack diagnostic machine adapted to detect antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is displayed at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. The machine last week underwent preliminary clinical tests at the Hvidovre Hospital near Copenhagen, Bosco said. It has been able to identify whether the 15 subjects used in testing were positive or negative for the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, he said.
Yeh said that she was on Tuesday attempting to follow instructions from Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), but used an air fryer instead of a rice cooker as Tang had instructed. The mask burned up, nearly starting a fire that could have burned down the Legislative Yuan’s second building on Taipei’s Qingdao E Road, she said. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yeh Yu-lan holds a shriveled mask during a meeting of the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee in Taipei yesterday after she used the wrong method to sterilize it. “OK, OK, I admit it, and I apologize to my junior-high school and senior-high school chemistry and physics teachers. I did not study well, but if I had I would be working at Academia Sinica, not in the legislature,” she wrote.
Authorities shut down ‘largest’ video piracy siteBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterThe Criminal Investigation Bureau has shut down what was reportedly the nation’s top video piracy Web site, 8maple.ru (楓林網), and arrested its two alleged proprietors in Taoyuan. Authorities estimated that the site had infringed on NT$1 billion (US$33.2 million) in copyrights owned by the movie and TV industries. “The site was in 2014 started in Taiwan by the two suspects, who have the expertise as they are software engineers,” Chen said. A bureau investigation found that about 30 million downloads from the site monthly, while the proprietors made about NT$4 million in advertising revenue. The site was reportedly Taiwan’s top site for downloading movies and TV shows for free, and was also popular with people in China and other countries, becoming a prominent international piracy site.
Virus Outbreak: Priest thanks Taiwanese for donating NT$120mStaff writer, with CNAFather Giuseppe Didone yesterday issued an open letter thanking Taiwanese for donating NT$120 million (US$3.98 million) in six days to a fundraising campaign he launched to help fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy. Didone on Wednesday last week appealed for donations to the Camillian Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong to purchase emergency medical provisions, including masks and protective gowns, for health workers in Italy. Father Giuseppe Didone in Yilan County yesterday thanks Taiwanese for donating more than NT$120 million to help fight COVID-19 in Italy. “In the last few days, I’ve seen a late-stage cancer patient come to the hospital to make a donation. I’ve seen an old vegetable vendor waiting in line to donate surgical face masks and some of her earnings.
April 07, 2020 15:56 UTC