The mayor noted that Taipei even took a step further to introduce the online appointment system because the mechanism helps to reduce manpower requirements, prevents crowding, and increases the effectiveness of medical facility management while minimizing the impact of unexpected factors. It also helps the city government prepare for upcoming large-scale vaccination campaign.
According to the mayor, there are 185 confirmed cases and 15 related deaths in Taiwan today. Taipei’s number saw a decline to 42. He reminded the public not to be frightened by the number of deaths, since the current number reflects the situation 2 to 3 weeks ago.
Ko remarked that while the number of confirmed cases has been dropping, the problem is that cases have spread out across administrative districts. The decline of positive cases comes with a decline in quarantined and contact-tracing cases as well. At this time when we notice the curve flattening, the city government is beginning to look for ways to achieve “zeroing-out.” While vaccination remain the ultimate solution, it will still take some time and the government should still try out different approaches during this period.
While rapid tests reflect the overall trend in a timely manner, the mayor pointed out that the decline can be attributed to factors such as the long weekend, since few people visit hospitals during vacations. Only 1,100 people showed up for rapid tests yesterday, compared to weekdays which may see as many as 2,400 individuals being tested. A clearly picture will emerge once work resumes.
Regarding vaccinations, the mayor noted that the program will begin with senior citizens starting tomorrow. Like municipal governments across Taiwan, the city government has dispatched notices to all eligible elders with residency in Taipei City through its civil affairs network. With vaccination currently limited to 85-year-old and above, he nonetheless encourages citizens to take advantage of the online reservation system. He is afraid that if we cannot find a more efficient way to schedule vaccine appointment, the government will be overwhelmed by sheer number of applicants once vaccination opens up to the general public.
Ko called upon elders who have made appointments to come and receive their shots at the scheduled time. As of 1 PM today, a total of 30,890 reservations have been made out of 48,440 time slots in Taipei City; 17,550 openings are still available. If possible, he encourages citizens to take advantage of the online reservation system, since those who made appointment online will be notified via SMS with information on the location and time.
The mayor admitted that the city government does not have an accurate count of senior citizens who live in Taipei but do not have their residency established here. He invites those who fit the aforementioned description to call the civil affairs division of district offices on June 15 and 16 to provide their name and ID number to receive further information on where to get their vaccination shots. Each hospital has allocated vaccine shots, and elders who call will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. For bedridden elders who do not reside in long-term care facilities, please call the long-term care hotline 1966.