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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Announcement
We are carefully assessing the COVID-19 situation (coronavirus). The purpose of this announcement is to provide the PAPS members and guests with pertinent facts from the most recent data filtering out the subjective hysteria and anxiety created by media. The World Health Organization, plus various agencies such as the Taiwan CDC and their CECC have up to the minute information on their websites and the source of the following information.
As of February 23, 1300 PST, the number of CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES in Taiwan 28. The first death was reported in Taiwan on February 16th. Excluding China, there are now 8 other countries with deaths reported; Iran (8), South Korea (6), Italy (3), Hong Kong (2), Japan (1), the Philippines (1), and France (1). There are also 3 deaths from the Diamond Princess ship. The lone fatality in Taiwan was initially thought to be indigenous. It was later learned the victim was a taxi driver who had exposures to passengers from Wuhan.
Outside of China, there seem to be two large outbreaks; South Korea and Italy. Compared to Taiwan, a greater number of confirmed cases have been reported in South Korea 602, Italy 155, Japan 146, Singapore 89, Hong Kong 74, and Thailand 35. The US is also currently reporting 35 cases although 21 of these are repatriated patients who were returned to the US by the US government after they were already infected overseas. Lower number of confirmed cases have been reported in Malaysia at 22, Italy 19, Australia 19, Iran 18, Germany 16, Vietnam 16, UK 13, UAE 13, France 12, Macau 10, and Canada 9. An additional 691 cases occurred on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with 3 deaths as noted above. WHO has classified the Diamond Princess cases as "cases on an international conveyance".
It has historically been somewhat difficult to get a travel visa to Taiwan if you are a Chinese citizen well before the COVID-19. Ironically, this long standing visitation challenge between Taiwan and China may have helped protect Taiwan from the virus more than other neighboring countries. Full travel restrictions banning travel between Taiwan and China, Hong Kong, and Macau were imposed very early by Taiwan in the first week of February further insulating Taiwan.
THE PAPS BOARD AND EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP ARE DISCUSSING THE SITUATION DAILY. We have not made any decision to cancel, postpone, or move the 53rd Annual PAPS meeting but continue to discuss all options. Another PAPS Board meeting is planned for February 25th/26th with a new announcement made shortly thereafter. We recommend to refrain from making any further travel arrangements until our next major update. The early bird rates will be extended.
WE WILL UPDATE THIS WEBSITE IMMEDIATELY AS THE SITUATION CHANGES.
PAPS Board and Executive Officers
Related Links and Articles:
Taiwan News: Washing hands more important than wearing masks