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Taiwan Faces Tough Choices as Covid Cases Hit Record Levels

  • Local daily cases hit 1,000 faster than government expected
  • Vaccination rate has climbed but experts push for more shots
A drive-thru Covid-19 testing site in Taipei, on April 16.

A drive-thru Covid-19 testing site in Taipei, on April 16.

Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg
Updated on

Last Tuesday, Taiwan’s health minister said the island could see 1,000 local Covid cases a day by the end of the month. It hit that level just three days later, and must now choose between living with the virus like New Zealand or sticking with elimination strategies like in Hong Kong. 

Local cases rose for a third straight day to 1,626 infections Tuesday and have now averaged 1,327 over the past five days. Health authorities also reported two more deaths, bringing the total to 856 from local infections over the entire pandemic. The surge has rattled many of the island’s 23 million people.