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Doctors divided on ‘0+7’ COVID-19 close contact policy

  • 16 May, 2022
  • Leslie Liao
Doctors divided on ‘0+7’ COVID-19 close contact policy
Taiwan begins new 0+7 quarantine rules for close contacts of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday (CNA)

Right now, close contacts of COVID-19 patients in Taiwan only need to quarantine for three days and monitor their health for an additional four. But a new rule that begins Tuesday would get rid of quarantine for close contacts and have them monitor their health for seven days instead.

Right now, anyone living with someone who contracts COVID-19 has to isolate themselves for three days and monitor their health for an additional four. This is a policy known as “3+4.” But as Taiwan’s COVID policy shifts towards living with the disease, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says there will soon be a “0+7” policy. Under that proposed rule, people who live with COVID-19 cases would not need to quarantine. Instead, they would just need to self-monitor their health for seven days.

Doctors are divided on the issue. Some say it’s too soon to ease quarantine restrictions, others say change isn’t coming fast enough. On one hand, easing quarantine may put more people at risk, but on the other, doing so may spare valuable government resources. 

Former CDC Deputy Head Dr. Shih Wen-yih says Taiwan should focus its efforts on treating serious COVID cases instead of quarantining potential infections. 

Dr. Hung Tzu-jen says as Taiwan eases quarantine restrictions, it’s important for people to exercise self-discipline. If they don’t, then the pandemic will only get worse. Health authorities expect the current wave of COVID-19 infection to hit a peak in late-May. But experts say the threat of a second wave means there’s no reason for people to let their guard down yet.

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