Taiwan confirmed no new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus for the 10th consecutive day on Sunday, keeping the total at 440 since the pandemic began late last year, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
It was also the 35th straight day with no domestically transmitted infections, according to CECC statistics. The last time Taiwan recorded a domestic infection was on April 12.
The lack of cases has led to a gradual loosening of restrictions that have been in place, and Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC, said at a daily briefing that special entertainment establishments could reopen under certain circumstances.
The establishments, such as hostess KTVs and hostess dance clubs, would have to adopt social distancing guidelines, and customers and staff members would need to wear masks and have their temperatures checked and use hand sanitizer before entering the premise, Chen said.
A system will also have to be in place that allows the businesses to reach customers after they have left, Chen said.
"If the local governments can ensure these measures, then we can start re-opening these establishments," Chen said.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 late last year, Taiwan has recorded 440 cases, 349 of which have been classified as imported and 55 as local infections, according to CECC statistics.
The other 36 cases are a cluster infection on a Navy vessel that returned April 9 from a Pacific goodwill mission. Those cases have not yet been classified as either local or imported, CECC data showed.
To date, 395 COVID-19 patients in Taiwan have recovered, seven have died, with the remainder are still hospitalized, the CECC said in a statement.
Globally, COVID-19 has infected 4,660,752 people in 187 countries and regions, including 1,489,642 in the United States, 272,043 in Russia, 240,161 in the United Kingdom, 230,698 in Spain and 224,760 in Italy, with a total of 311,064 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Sunday.