Virus Outbreak: Former nurse pays Chen Shih-chung homage in latteBy Dennis Xie / Staff writer, with CNAA coffee shop owner, who was previously a nurse, created a “4D” latte art sculpture of Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) to thank him for recognizing the efforts of frontline nurses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Few people understand the painstaking nature of a nurse’s job, but Chen gave several pep talks to nurses, recognizing and validating their hard work, Tseng Hsiao-chiao (曾筱喬), who runs a coffee shop in Pingtung County’s Chaojhou Township (潮州), said on Monday. Photo: Chiu Chih-jou, Taipei TimesSome people have visited the shop to take phtographs with the creation, she said. If kept in a freezer, in can last even longer, she added. She once carried a lunch box to work when she was still a nurse, but found that she did not have a minute to eat it during the whole day, she said.
Virus Outbreak: CECC confirms 18 new COVID-19 casesEXPANDED CRITERIA: People who returned between March 8 and Wednesday from East Asian nations or the US and had respiratory symptoms are to be quarantinedBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 18 imported cases of COVID-19, bringing Taiwan’s total number of confirmed cases to 235. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the 18 new cases were comprised of 12 women and six men. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung announces 18 new imported cases of COVID-19 at a daily Central Epidemic Command Center news conference in Taipei yesterday. “While we have chosen to test people we consider to be at higher risk, we must also ensure that people get tested immediately after the onset of symptoms,” Chen Shih-chung said. However, as these two weeks are a critical phase in fighting the spread of COVID-19, people who are in home quarantine should strictly conform to the regulations, Chen Shih-chung said.
When he reemerged two years later at the age of 32 with the essay Annual Ring (年輪), he had become Yang Mu (楊牧). But Yang had little interest in social issues when he arrived, writes Chang Hui-ching (張惠菁) in his biography Yang Mu (楊牧). In 1967, the anti-Vietnam War protests reached its height at Berkeley, and Yang often saw students clashing with the police. “Berkeley made me open my eyes and observe and recognize this society with urgency,” Yang writes. Later that year, he became Yang Mu.
The US on Thursday introduced an economic stimulus package that would, if approved, give each US citizen US$1,200 and each child US$500, Lo said. Premier Su Tseng-chang, foreground, delivers the government’s general policy report during an interpellation session with Cabinet members at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. The government is rich, so it should be able to roll out more generous stimulus packages, he said. The government hopes to improve on the former administration’s policy by using a different approach, one that incentivizes people to go shopping, Su said. Other KMT lawmakers who had signed up to speak at the beginning of the meeting clamored for more generous stimulus packages.
Vina Formosa comes of ageTaichung’s Vino Formosa continues to rack up accolades with two golds earlier this month — and its winemaker has his sights set on recreating Taiwanese spirits from the Japanese eraBy Han Cheung / Staff reporterChen Chien-hao (陳千浩) never tasted proper red wine until he was 23. But more than two decades later in 2014, Chen’s Vino Formosa, a dessert wine made in collaboration with Taichung’s Shu Sheng Leisure Domaine (樹生酒莊), won its first international gold medal. Vino Formosa’s red wine, Vino Formosa Rosso, won yet another award earlier this month. But the sourness made our wine palatable in larger quantities.”Chen started entering Vino Formosa into international competitions in 2011. The current waiting list to purchase Vino Formosa is up to five years.
On a monthly basis, export orders contracted 18.8 percent from US$35.31 billion, ministry statistics showed. Meanwhile, export orders for electronics bounced back after a small contraction in January to surge 20.4 percent year-on-year to US$8.82 billion, due to growing demand for semiconductors. “Upcoming 5G deployment boosted orders for foundry services, design and packaging of integrated circuits as well as memory products,” Huang said. However, export orders for optoelectronics continued a downward spiral despite an increase in demand for optical lenses, as flat-panel prices struggle to recover. With part of their production in China hindered, optoelectronics makers posted a 14.7 percent year-on-year decline to US$1.34 billion in orders last month, the data showed.
Virus outbreak: Thousands return home to escape worst of outbreakBy Chu Pei-hsiung and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerTaiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday experienced an influx of Taiwanese returning from Europe and the US, many of whom said they had returned despite higher ticket prices as they are concerned about family members amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 5am and 7am yesterday, 17 flights landed at the airport carrying 2,400 passengers, many of them from Australia and the US, Taoyuan International Airport Corp data showed. A Taiwanese studying abroad, center, arrives at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in protective clothing yesterday. A student returning from San Francisco surnamed Huang (黃) said that she had purchased a biohazard suit and would not take it off until she had left the airport. People returning to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday wear masks and protective clothing as they wait at a quarantine counter.
The combustion of fuel containing sulfur and hydrogen produces sulfur oxides and hydrocarbons, causing air pollution, acid rain and smog, Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Director-General Tsai Meng-yu (蔡孟裕) told a news conference in Taipei. To curb pollution from land, sea and airborne vehicles, the EPA has tightened regulations on fuel for ships and aircraft, as well as gasoline and diesel for road vehicles, he said. Environmental Protection Administration Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Director-General Tsai Meng-yu points to a beaker of marine fuel oil with sulfur content of 0.5 percentat a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Lo Chi, Taipei TimesFrom July, all ships must use fuel with a sulfur content of less than 0.5 percent, instead of the current 3.5 percent, Tsai said. While Taiwan is not a member state of the International Maritime Organization, it is voluntarily observing the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which helps improve air quality and allows domestic ports to remain competitive globally, he added.
TAIEX rallies as National Stabilization Fund kicks inCURBING THE DECLINE: An analyst said that the fund and other measures sent the message that ‘the government would do something’ to strengthen the marketBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterThe TAIEX yesterday rallied 6.37 percent to 9,234.09 points after the government on Thursday pledged to activate the National Stabilization Fund. Turnover totaled NT$234.027 billion (US$7.72 billion), slightly down from NT$271.17 billion a day earlier, but higher than last month’s average of NT$146 billion, the data showed. A person wearing a mask yesterday walks past an electronic display board showing stock prices at a brokerage firm in Taipei. The measures included the central bank cutting rates by 25 basis points, the Financial Supervisory Commission’s ban on short-selling and the Ministry of Finance’s activation of the National Stabilization Fund, Chu said. The move would allow insurers to hold less capital when they increase investment in local stocks and thus ease the pressure of maintaining good capital adequacy, it said.
Virus outbreak: Supplies of food, daily necessities sufficient: SuBy Sean Lin / Staff reporterPremier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday reassured the public that the nation has sufficient supplies of fresh produce and tissue paper, and that people can shop without worries. The public need not be alarmed over news of panic buying abroad, as supplies of food staples and daily necessities are under control, Su said. Photo copied by Lee Hsin-fang, Taipei TimesThe nation has sufficient food supplies, thanks to its robust agricultural, food processing and fishery industries, he said. It has more than enough tissue paper, with production running at only about 60 percent of capacity, he said. He asked Su to reassure the public that there is no need to engage in panic buying.
Virus Outbreak: China showers EU with virus aidPROPAGANDA PUSH: Aid is much needed, but China is consciously exercising its soft power in supplying it, a Mercator Institute for China Studies analyst saidBloombergThe Chinese ambassador to Estonia last month accused the Baltic nation’s intelligence service of having a “Cold War mindset” for labeling China a threat, warning that its “distorted” conclusions damaged bilateral relations. A Chinese aid team arrive at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome on Thursday last week. The result is a battle for hearts and minds that China seems to be winning, at least for the moment. Aid is much needed, but in supplying it, China is consciously exercising its soft power, she said. Xi this week described China’s mass deployment of medical aid to Europe as an effort to further a “Health Silk Road,” stretching his Belt and Road Initiative.
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Photo: CNATech heavyweights Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) and Largan Precision Co (大立光) fell 3.69 percent and 9.72 percent respectively. Short selling is when investors borrow securities, typically from brokerages, and then sell them, expecting the price will fall, to make a profit by buying them back later for less money. “A short-selling ban can prevent speculators from betting against financial stocks, but it may also create more fear among ordinary investors. Short selling for the 1,233 stocks would be banned today, Chang said, adding that the number of stocks subject to the new measure would vary daily. The FSC did not say how long the short-selling ban would last, saying that it would review the ban based on the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Improved borer beetle trap could aid coffee farmersBy Tung Chen-kuo and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerAn improved coffee borer beetle trap developed by the Council of Agriculture Tea Research and Extension Station could aid coffee growers in Nantou County’s Guosing Township (國姓). The township is the largest coffee bean production area in the nation, with more than 200 hectares under cultivation. Tea Research and Extension Station officials hold coffee borer beetle traps developed by the station in Nantou County on Tuesday. Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Taipei TimesMore than 30 percent of coffee plants in the township are affected, the station said on Tuesday. One fen (分) of land (969.92m2) could sustain between 120 and 150 coffee trees, and would need about 40 to 50 traps, station researcher Liu Chien-ju (劉千如) said.
TAIEX hits 42-month low to close at 8,681.34 pointsBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterThe TAIEX yesterday retreated 5.83 percent to close at 8,681.34 points, the lowest in 42 months, as foreign and domestic institutional investors continue a sell-off amid the escalating worldwide spread of COVID-19, analysts said. A woman stands in front of a board showing stock prices in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times“The deterioration in the local equity market could be attributed to sell-offs by foreign and domestic institutional investors. Institutional investors would prefer to decrease their holdings of risky assets, as they predict their value to decline amid volatile trading,” Tsai said. Foreign institution investors yesterday sold a net NT$21.22 billion (US$695.6 million) of local shares, slightly down from the average of NT$28 billion they sold over the previous three days.
Virus Outbreak: New Taipei shuts public centers, museums for 14 daysCONTAINMENT: Mayor Hou You-yi made the surprise announcement at a planned public sports center opening, highlighting the need to curb the spread of COVID-19By Dennis Xie / Staff writer, with CNAAll public sports centers, activity centers and museums in New Taipei City are to close for 14 days, starting today, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said yesterday. Some more renowned venues in the city that are to close for 14 days due to the new measure include the Yingge Ceramics Museum (鶯歌陶瓷博物館), the Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology (十 三行博物館), the Gold Museum (黃金博物館), the Hakka Museum (客家文化園區演藝廳) and the Wulai Atayal Museum (烏來泰雅民族博物館), the New Taipei City Government said. New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi, left, speaks at the planned opening of a public sports center in Sinjhuang District yesterday. As of 8pm on Wednesday, about 1,300 people affected by the policy registered for home quarantine, city government data showed. The New Taipei City Education Department said that there would be no public entry or space rental at the city’s primary and secondary schools until the end of the semester as part of efforts to increase disease-prevention standards on campuses.