Taiwan urges elderly, young to avoid China visits due to respiratory illnesses

Taiwan has been wary of disease outbreaks in its giant neighbour since the SARS outbreak that started in China and killed nearly 800 people globally in 2002-2003

Reuters
Published : 30 Nov 2023, 05:32 AM
Updated : 30 Nov 2023, 05:32 AM

Taiwan's health ministry on Thursday urged the elderly, very young and those with poor immunity to avoid travel to China due to the recent increase in respiratory illnesses there.

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week requested China provide detailed information on the spike, which a WHO official said was not as high as before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taiwan has been wary of disease outbreaks in its giant neighbour since the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak that started in China and killed nearly 800 people globally in 2002-2003.

China, whose government claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own, initially tried to cover up that outbreak.

In a statement released after a weekly Cabinet meeting, Taiwan's health ministry said that due to the rise in respiratory illnesses in China, "the elderly, young children and other people with poor immunity are requested not to travel to China unless necessary".

If travel is necessary, then people should get flu and COVID vaccinations before going to China, it added.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that the rise in respiratory illnesses in China was a common issue faced by all countries and that Chinese authorities have it under effective control.