TCM poison scandal spreads
A second Taichung-based traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinic has been ordered to suspend business after city authorities found it had also allegedly prescribed drugs laced with heavy metals to patients.
A court, meanwhile, has now ordered these two traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and one medicine dealer based in Taichung to be detained and held incommunicado for their part in this heavy metal poisoning case that has left at least 14 people confirmed ill.
The trio are suspected of violating pharmaceutical laws because of their involvement in the lead poisoning cases, including a former Taichung City Council Speaker who has been diagnosed with multiple organ failure, his wife, his current city councillor son and his daughter, the court ruled.
It said the trio had to be detained because they could destroy or falsify evidence or collude with each other to falsify testimony were they to be released.
A New Taipei City Councilor has said her father, former Taiwan Provincial Consultative Council speaker, who passed away in April, had also sought treatment at one of the clinics, and she was sure he was also a victim.
The Taichung City Government has announced that it will be supporting efforts to sue the alleged perpetrators, and called for “severe punishment” and “no pardon”.
Mass Changhua testing suggests more COVID cases
The preliminary results of an ongoing study between Taiwan’s top university and Changhua County have found some positives out of approximately 3,000 residents of the country who have been tested for antibodies for the coronavirus, indicating a high probability of many undocumented infections.
National Taiwan University’s College of Public Health (NTUCPH,) in cooperation with the Changhua County government, has been conducting a survey of residents for serum antibodies against COVID-19 in an effort to test 10,000 people.
The subjects tested include confirmed cases and their contacts, people under home quarantine and self-health monitoring, and a control group.
In addition, over 5,000 medical personal, long-term caregivers, and other epidemic personnel will be tested.
The positive cases reflect the possibility of hidden domestic cases, according to Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, but it also means that the situation can be controlled as evidenced by the lack of an outbreak of locally transmitted cases.
The exact infection rate is still being calculated, with further results to be disclosed on Aug. 25.
Meanwhile, the Taichung City Government is ramping up efforts to remind residents to wear a face mask when taking the bus.
In Nantou, according to county officials on an inspection tour at Sun Moon Lake, only 20% of visitors were wearing a facemask.
However, about 70 percent of tourists immediately put on a mask when asked to.
Air pollution march held in Taichung
Environmental groups on Saturday held a parade in Taichung, calling on the government to work harder to cut air pollution and coal use, and outline plans to achieve a carbon-neutral society.
To draw attention to climate issues, the heads of the march dressed as “tree men”.
The parade organizers urged the government to declare a climate emergency and promote new “green” policies; improve air pollution and cut coal use, especially in central and southern municipalities; and announce a timetable to achieve a carbon-neutral society by 2050.
Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen and Changhua City Mayor Lin Shih-hsien (林世賢) were both in attendance to show their support.
Participants at the rally formed the words “Net 0 carbon” in English and using the numeral for zero to be photographed from above.
Corruption statistics in Changhua jarring
In the one year and nine months since the 2018 local elections a total of 47 village and borough chiefs have been convicted and sentenced for corruption or vote buying in Changhua County.
In total, fully three quarters of Changhua County’s village chiefs elected in that year have been convicted.
The statistics may yet get even worse, as up to 99 borough chiefs are suspected of receiving illegal payments.
Michelin Guide comes to Taichung
The famed French foodie Michelin Guide on Tuesday released a list of 75 Bib Gourmand restaurants in Taipei and Taichung, a distinction given to establishments that offer a three course meal for a fixed price not exceeding NT$1,000 (US$34).
The list, which covers value-for-money food for the third consecutive year in Taipei and for the first time in Taichung.
All types of cuisines are included.
Taichung Mayor Lu said she thought this will increase Taichung’s visibility internationally.
The guide is considered the Bible for foodie tourists.
Nantou to get some postal love
Chunghwa Post is releasing a new set of stamps on today featuring scenery in Nantou, in a bid to promote tourism.
The four stamps for Nantou will spotlight Sun Moon Lake, Jiji Green Tunnel, Qingjing Farm, and Hehuan Mountain Dark-Sky Park.
The stamps will come with denominations of NT$8, NT$13, and NT$15.
Image courtesy of 中台灣公共論壇 Facebook page