Taiwan extends Level 3 alert to June 14, Tsai’s popularity hits 21-month low

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CEC) announced the extension of Taiwan’s Level 3 alert until June 14 as the new pneumonia outbreak continues. The command center believes that, based on the absence of a rapid deterioration of the epidemic, it does not intend to raise the epidemic alert at this time. The new vaccine has been arriving recently and it is estimated that 10 million doses will be available by the end of August. However, due to the uncontrolled epidemic and internal factors, President Tsai Ing-wen’s popularity has hit a 21-month low, and the DPP’s support has also declined in parallel.

The central epidemic commander, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, announced on Tuesday (25) that there were 281 new local cases of New Coronary Pneumonia and 2 imported cases from abroad; there were also 261 “corrected” local cases, making a total of 544 cases. Among the confirmed cases, there were 6 new deaths. The number of confirmed cases continues to be the highest in both Taipei cities, with 154 cases in Xinbei and 49 cases in Taipei.

Chen Shizhong also choked up at the lack of positive attitude of the public to prevent the disease, as well as the infection of the Department of Health colleagues.

Chen Shizhong said: just mentioned that the lost people are also the police and government to find, eight industries secretly operating (referring to the pornography industry), so that such things can be stabilized is also the police. Mask is also the police in control, do not wear a mask also want the police in the catch, the police in this way the risk is very high. Even masks have to be caught by the police, which should do a good job themselves, eight industries are still open, but also secretly open, right? I think these are adding to the burden of our society as a whole, especially now that police colleagues are infected with the epidemic again, not doing things properly should be reviewed.

Because of the new crown pneumonia local cases, the past ten days more than 4,000 people, Chen Shizhong announced that the epidemic level 3 alert extended to June 14, the whole Taiwan schools are also closed until June.

The Epidemic Command Center said that about 410,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s new crown vaccine arrived in Taiwan recently and will be distributed to various locations on Thursday (27th) at the earliest, and vaccination is expected to begin the following day, with priority given to medical and nursing staff working in wards. The center also said that 2 million doses of vaccine are expected to arrive in June, and a total of 10 million doses of vaccine will be available by the end of August.

In addition, the latest poll released by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation shows that President Tsai Ing-wen’s popularity has dropped to 45.7 percent due to the epidemic and other factors, down 8 percentage points from last month, and a 21-month low. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s support also plunged 10.1 percentage points to 23.2 percent, only two percentage points more than the KMT. As for Executive President Su, both satisfied and dissatisfied respondents were 45%.

According to public opinion, 53% of Taiwanese people over the age of 20 believe that the new pneumonia outbreak is a man-made disaster that could have been avoided; 23% believe that it is a natural disaster that is unavoidable; and 19% believe that it is both a natural and man-made disaster.

In May, Taiwan experienced an island-wide power outage, and the poll showed that 62% of the people were dissatisfied, with 30% of the respondents even expressing strong dissatisfaction.

Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation Chairman Ying-Lung Yoo said the poll showed that Tsai’s popularity in the first year of her second term was much lower than before, and for the first time, the support and affirmation of the country’s leadership style was far below 50 percent. This is a new change and a serious warning.

According to Yu Ying-lung’s analysis, the significant drop in Tsai’s popularity rating is related to three key short-term factors, including the new pneumonia outbreak that began in May, the two major power outages in May 13 and 517, and the blackmail controversy involving public officials in the DPP in early May, while there were no major changes in cross-strait or Taiwan-US relations in the past month that would affect the island’s political situation. Therefore, internal factors have become the most important reason to influence the president’s popularity.

The poll was conducted for four days from May 17 to 20, targeting adults over 20 years old across Taiwan, with a valid sample of 1,082 people.