Taiwan attacks China’s ‘cruel’ Covid lockdowns and says its own measures are ‘praised by the world’

·2-min read
Women wearing face masks to protect against the spread of Covid walk on a street in Taipei, Taiwan (AP)
Women wearing face masks to protect against the spread of Covid walk on a street in Taipei, Taiwan (AP)

Taiwan has slammed China for imposing a “cruel” lockdown on its nationals and said Taipei would not follow stringent measures but a new approach to tackle its biggest surge in Covid infections.

Premier Su Tseng-chang on Sunday said Taiwan’s pandemic containment measures were “praised by the world” and that there was a plan to counter rising infections in the region.

The number of Covid cases in Taiwan have skyrocketed, with 75,000 infections driven by the Omicron variant since the beginning of the year, while the total caseload passed the 100,000 mark on Friday.

Cases have increased by more than 40 per cent since March, even though almost all the infections are mild or with no symptoms.

The death rate is at a low 0.8 per cent.

“We will not lock down the country and cities as cruelly as China,” Mr Su said, adding Taiwan would follow methods that are “gradual”.

“We have a plan, and there is a rhythm to it.”

Taiwan has not yet reached the peak of infection to see a possible decline, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said, adding that the territory could record 50,000 cases per day.

Backed by huge vaccinations, the government has announced a “new Taiwan model,” moving away from its neighbour China’s stringent zero-tolerance approach.

Mr Su shunned China as the Xi Jinping-led government has locked down millions of people in their homes in Shanghai, one of the worst-hit cities, and enforced strict measures, including placing electronic door alarms to prevent those infected from leaving.

Last week, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Taiwan’s new model of handling the pandemic would lead to many deaths.

The Taiwanese government has cut the quarantine time for all arrivals from two weeks to 10 days.

The country of about 23 million people has vaccinated around 80 per cent population with two jabs and almost 60 per cent have received their first booster dose as mask mandates remain in order.