Virus: Taiwan cancels Lunar New Year Lantern Festival

Steph Deschamps / January 20, 2021


Taiwan cancelled Tuesday, for the first time, the lantern festival that accompanies the Lunar New Year every year, which was to be held in a city where four cases of Covid-19 occurred.


The Lantern Festival has been held every year for thirty years in a different city and attracts more than a million visitors


It was planned for Hsinchu (North) next month, but four cases occurred at a city hospital. It is difficult to control crowds in such an open space, cabinet secretary general Li Meng-yen told reporters.


Other smaller lantern festivals have also been cancelled, notably in Taoyuan, where a cluster has been declared. Taiwan has so far fewer than 870 cases and seven deaths. These good results are partly due to the decision to close the island to foreigners and to impose a strict quarantine on the few visitors arriving on the island. But the return of a doctor who returned from a trip abroad and tested positive sounded the alarm.


The number of confirmed cases is higher than we expected. We must continue to work hard and show our commitment to our health workers, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung


In the last fortnight, five more doctors and nurses along with two family members and a Vietnamese caregiver contracted the virus both inside and outside Taoyan hospital, bringing the total number of infections in the cluster to nine.

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