TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The COVID-19 death rate has been trending to a level on par with the influenza mortality rate in Taiwan, partly due to widespread vaccination and the use of antiviral drugs, National Taiwan University public health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said on a live-streaming session on YouTube on Wednesday (Nov. 23).
He noted that during the outbreak of the Alpha variant, the mortality rates hovered between 3% and 7%, which were much higher than the 0.34% influenza mortality rate. However, during the Omicron variant outbreak, the COVID-19 death rate went below 0.3%.
The public health expert pointed out that many patients infected with the Omicron variant died not solely because of the virus, but because of complications, including immunodeficiency and other serious comorbidities.
With regard to Taiwan’s COVID-19 patients not being able to vote this weekend, Chen said the country’s overall immune protection from COVID-19 is about 60% and that voting at the polling stations is an organized and controlled activity.
With measures like wearing masks and social distancing in place, it should be safe for COVID-19 patients to go to polling places to vote in the upcoming local elections on Saturday, Chen claimed.
He thinks that the coexistence of democratic elections, civic participation, and disease prevention is an important milestone in Taiwan’s stride toward returning to normality.
JUSTCLICK & CONNECT