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Updated: March 26, 2020 6:50 PM
Interview - Mai, Restaurant Owner in Taipei, Taiwan - Live Account of the Coronavirus Situation, Taipei, Taiwan
March 26, 2020 6:50 PM
“Interview - Mai, Taipei Taiwan:
This is a first-hand account from a restaurant owner in Taipei Taiwan of the coronavirus situation including: how the testing process works in Taiwan, how the country dealt with the initial outbreak, and the effect it has had on the people and businesses.
Hi... , I'm Mai. I'm currently based in Taipei, Taiwan and I am a restaurant owner here. I own two vegan cafes here in Taipei. And it's been an interesting time with the virus coming around.
What's the current situation in Taiwan?
Actually, I'm sure, I mean it's been getting around on the news pretty steadily in the last week about Taiwan's containment and their efforts to kind of help the spread of the virus and they been doing an amazing job. For us, we've been dealing with it since January, so right when the Chinese government kind of started allowing information to get out, Taiwan was bracing from January. And they were getting ready for the lunar new year, which is a huge travel time for almost every country in Asia. They knew that it was going to be a huge potential risk with everyone traveling around, not just within Taiwan, but internationally. A lot of Taiwanese nationals work in China, so they were planning to fly back to Taiwan. We knew that there was going to be this really big first wave. And Taiwan was really ready for it and a lot of the Asian countries were really ready for it because of the SARS epidemic. They learned a lot from that previous experience and were able to leverage that for this epidemic.
Has testing been easy for people or has that been a problem for some people getting testing?
No, testing has been really great here. I think within about a month, one of the universities got the testing time down to about 15 minutes. And all the hospitals, we already have a national healthcare system. Everyone has a national health insurance card if you're working and if you pay taxes and you're registered into the system and all the hospitals are usually prepped and ready to handle a pretty large number of people. Testing was pretty swift here.
There was a second wave that happened after Taiwan initially had slowed up. How did that look and how did that impact everyone?
For the first wave coming back, they knew they kind of had to stop and contain the first wave. What they did was they stalled school, they pushed school back about three weeks college and K through 12. Everyone was kind of on an extended holiday from coming back from the Chinese new year. And then for the second wave, once it started exploding in Italy and moving over to the U S they quickly realized that international travel is going to be a huge problem. And another huge problem was because Taiwan did such a good job containing that first wave, there were still some tour groups that were still going abroad because it hadn't spread that far yet. We had some tour groups from Taiwan that went to Egypt and Greece. And so by the time they came back, they were actually carriers. And so that coupled with international travel kind of started the second wave. And that was I think about late February, early March. And so they basically put the airport on lockdown because Taipei is a huge hub. It's a huge international hub. To get into Asia, usually you come through either Japan or Taipei. And so they knew that that airport was a huge risk. But being an Island, a small Island nation, we only have two big airports and the biggest international hub is Taoyuan airport, the Taipei airport. They got a handle on that and we're just screening all the passengers that came in and getting all their information, you're asked to scan a QR code and fill out all your information so that they could track every passenger. At that point you were supposed to be self-monitoring, so no mandatory self-quarantine yet.
What does self-monitoring mean?
They have a list of things that you were supposed to be doing. You're supposed to be checking your temperature, being more aware of your respiratory system and basically checking in, that was about it.
How has it impacted people's behavior in Taiwan?
At first, it was during Chinese New Year. I remember one day I just went out and it was two days into the first reports of the Coronavirus coming into Taiwan. And mask, in Asia mask a normal thing. It's not if you're sick, if you are in a crowded space or you have allergies, it's normal to just wear a mask. No one thinks twice about it. But, I remember as a business owner, I was thinking, I should probably get some mask for my two stores. And I went out and everywhere was completely sold out. And that was when the first information about what kind of masks were needed was coming out cause people were buying all kinds of mask. People were kind of buying the respirators, the PITTA mask. And so that first wave of information was what mask you should be using, what helps, what doesn't help. Taiwan has been really good about trying to fight misinformation, The government constantly, consistently pushes out information to the public. And actually their newest campaign is with this, it's a Shiba. It's a Shiba that's telling you to not cough and wear your mask.
How has this impacted you personally?
That first few weeks when we're trying to find masks, we realize, this is going to be really serious. But the government seemed to have a handle on it because when that first mask panic buying happened, the government quickly stepped in and took mask off out of the private sector and they started rationing and only giving it to pharmacies which were covered by national health insurance. Then if you had a national health insurance card, you would go and they would scan you and then you would get a certain ration mask and then they increase production greatly. We realized that the government was going to handle this pretty well. But we started seeing the real effects of it, maybe for the second wave, the first wave we were okay. There was no social distancing or anything like that. But the second wave is when the government started pushing out no large gatherings, everyone needs to be taking their temperature. We've had to kind of put in new protocols at the restaurant. We currently hand sanitize everyone that comes in. Temperature checks are almost done at every place now. All the staff needs to be wearing masks at all times. And we've asked that anyone that's traveled internationally in the last 14 days to either stay at home or we don't allow them entry into the location. We've had to think really hard about how to make customers feel safe and guarantee my staff safety. That's been a huge, every day struggle to make sure that the staff really understands the seriousness and severity of this. And when offices went remote, that actually when it hit us the most, cause in one of our areas we have a lot of technology companies. And when they went remote we saw a huge decline in our daytime lunch customers. That was, that was a scary week. That was a really scary week.
Do you expect that restaurants and other businesses will be able to remain open for the near term?
So far there's hasn't been any talk of shutting down restaurants. Clubs have been voluntarily closing and some of the city governments have closed down and movie theaters and gyms, kind of large gathering places and the government has asked for gatherings, no larger than a hundred people. Anything above a hundred people has to be canceled. But Taiwanese people are really a little bit conservative so they are already pretty risk-averse. They are just kind of doing these social distancing, self-isolation things by themselves. A lot of communities have just decided to cancel their events, go online, make them all available online. The government hasn't had to mandate, closures. Some restaurants that are really popular have decided to do delivery only just to be on the safe side. They've taken these voluntary measures actually.
Now that you've been impacted by Coronavirus, do you have any message to people or any recommendations to people based on your experience?
I'm kind of seeing what's happening in other countries through news and my family, and hearing it from them. I think the biggest thing is the social responsibility that everyone should feel towards the greater community. Part of why Taiwan has been so successful is there is a very clear understanding that all the policies are for the greater community. You as an individual might not be necessarily affected or be in grave danger if you get the virus, but kind of there's this understanding that there are a lot of people at risk and so what you do is to keep those people protected. That's been really amazing to see. I would say the advice is to just try to think about the greater community and that your actions kind of ripple out and take care of each other. ”
Recent Interesting Reports
Lohxa Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse USP, 0.12% Alcohol free - recalled as it may be contaminated with Burkholderia lata, USA
November 9, 2020 5:00 PM
“Company name: Lohxa, LLC
Brand name: Lohxa
Product recalled: Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse USP, 0.12% Alcohol free
Reason of the recall: May be contaminated with Burkholderia lata
FDA Recall date: November 09, 2020
Recall details: Lohxa, LLC is voluntarily recalling Chlorhexidine Gluconat... e Oral Rinse USP, 0.12% Alcohol free (NDC:70166-027-15) products bearing an expiration date from 01/31/21 – 03/31/21 (see specific lots below) to the consumer level. This product is sourced and repackaged from Sunstar Americas Inc. who has notified us the product may be contaminated with the bacteria Burkholderia lata.
Use of the defective product in the immunocompetent host may result in oral and, potentially, systemic infections requiring antibacterial therapy. In the most at-risk populations, the use of the defective product may result in life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia and bacteremia. To date, no adverse events have been reported to Lohxa, LLC related to this recall.
The prescription oral rinse product, available through institutional use only, is indicated for use as part of a professional program for the treatment of gingivitis and is packaged as follows:
- Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse USP, 0.12% Alcohol free is distributed in cases each containing 50 unit dose cups. Each case contains a colored label around the lid and body of the case.
The product can be identified by as shown in the images below. Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse USP, 0.12% Alcohol free was distributed to Nationwide to hospital pharmacies. Lohxa, LLC is notifying its direct customers by Fedex overnight mail, electronic mail, phone call and is arranging for return of all recalled products.
Patients, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities in possession of these products should stop using and dispensing immediately. Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Lohxa, LLC by phone at 1-800-641-5564 or email firstname.lastname@example.org on Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm EST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using this drug product. Affected products and lot numbers follow below:
- Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse USP, 0.12% Alcohol free, 15 mL (NDC:70166-027-15) LOT/ EXP: T09101A/01/2021 |T08292A/02/2021 |T10011A/02/2021 |M10193A/03/2021 |T10223A/03/2021
Check the full recall details on fda.gov
Source: FDA ”
Paroex Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse, 4 oz and 16 oz - recalled due to potential contamination with Burkholderia lata, USA
October 28, 2020 11:00 AM
“Company name: Sunstar Americas, Inc.
Brand name: Paroex
Product recalled: Paroex Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse, 4 oz and 16 oz
Reason of the recall: Potential contamination with Burkholderia lata
FDA Recall date: October 28, 2020
Recall details: Sunstar Americas, Inc. (SAI) is voluntarily... recalling Paroex® Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse USP, 0.12% products bearing an expiration date from 6/30/22 – 9/30/22 (see specific lots below) to the consumer level. This product may be contaminated with the bacteria Burkholderia lata.
Use of the defective product in the immunocompetent host may result in oral and, potentially, systemic infections requiring antibacterial therapy. In the most at-risk populations, the use of the defective product may result in life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia and bacteremia. To date, no adverse events have been reported to SAI related to this recall. The prescription oral rinse product, available through healthcare professionals only, is indicated for use as part of a professional program for the treatment of gingivitis and is packaged as follows:
- 1789P GUM® Paroex® is distributed in cases each containing 6 amber bottles of 16 fluid ounce (473 ml) chlorhexidine rinse. The bottle has a childproof cap and a 15 ml metered dosage cup, is safety sealed, and is decorated with a multiple-panel wrap-around label.
- 1788P GUM® Paroex® is distributed in cases each containing 24 amber bottles of 4 fluid ounce (118.25 ml) chlorhexidine rinse. The bottle has a childproof cap, is safety sealed, and is decorated with a multiple-panel wrap-around label.
The product can be identified by as shown in the images below: Paroex was distributed Nationwide to Dental offices, Dental distributors, Pharmaceutical wholesalers, Dental schools, and Pharmacies. SAI is notifying its direct distributors and customers by USPS Priority mail and is arranging for return of all recalled products. Patients, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities in possession of these products should stop using and dispensing immediately.
Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact SAI by phone at 1-800-528-8537 or email email@example.com on Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm CST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using this drug product. Affected products and lot numbers are detailed in the link below.
Check the full recall details on fda.gov
Source: FDA ”
CORE essential nutrients and Immune Boost Sublingual Vitamin D3 - recalled due to Unapproved new drug, USA
November 23, 2020 2:00 PM
“Company name: Fusion Health and Vitality LLC
Brand name: CORE, Immune Boost
Product recalled: CORE essential nutrients and Immune Boost Sublingual Vitamin D3
Reason of the recall: Unapproved new drug
FDA Recall date: November 23, 2020
Recall details: Fusion Health and Vitality LLCis voluntaril... y recalling all 2020 Lots of CORE essential nutrients and Immune Boost Sublingual Vitamin D3. CORE has been found to contain an unapproved food additive, hordenine HCl, rendering it adulterated. Immune Boost Labeling was found to contain statements that caused it to become and unapproved new drug under FDA labeling laws. Hordenine HCl is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth. Hordenine HCl might have similar stimulant effects and side effects such as rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.
Fusion Health and Vitality LLC has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall. Please review the attached photos for identification. We began shipping Core Essential Nutrients on 1/2/2020 and we began shipping Immune Boost Sublingual Vitamin D3 on 4/15/2020. Both products are packaged with labels which prominently display the product name. CORE essential nutrients are found in a dark colored jar, in powdered format.
This product was formulated to mix into a liquid before consumption. The Immune Boost sublingual was packaged in a 2 ounce bottle that came with a sublingual application dropper. Fusion Health and Vitality is notifying its customers by email and is arranging for return of all recalled products. Consumers that have product which is being recalled should stop using it and return it to Fusion Health and Vitality for destruction. Consumers with questions regarding this recall or how to return recalled product can contact Fusion Health and Vitality by calling 1-888-964-5327, 9am to 5pm, Monday Thru Friday, EST. Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.
This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Check the full recall details on fda.gov
Source: FDA ”
Walmart Supercentre, Boulevard Maloney Ouest, Gatineau, QC, Canada, Walmart Supercentre, Boulevard Maloney Ouest, Gatineau, QC, Canada
Walmart Supercentre, Boulevard Maloney Ouest, Gatineau, QC, Canada
November 15, 2020 8:18 PM
“They are practically forcing people to put hand sanitizer on their hands even though they are not required to do so. I am allergic to some of the stuff because I don't know what's in their hand sanitizer and my hands got all cracked and chapped. They still practically forced people to do it even tho... ugh there's no law. ”
Fresenius Kabi USA Dexmedetomidine HCL in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection - recalled due to cross contamination with Lidocaine, USA
November 19, 2020 6:01 PM
“Company name: Fresenius Kabi USA
Brand name: Fresenius Kabi USA
Product recalled: Dexmedetomidine HCL in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection
Reason of the recall: Cross Contamination with Lidocaine
FDA Recall date: November 19, 2020
Recall details: Fresenius Kabi USA is voluntarily recalling a singl... e lot of Dexmedetomidine HCl in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, 200 mcg/50 mL (4 mcg /mL), 50 mL fill in a 50 mL vial. Fresenius Kabi initiated this recall due to a trace amount of lidocaine present in the lot. This recall is being performed to the user level. To date, no adverse drug experience reports have been received for the recalled lot. Administration of Dexmedetomidine HCl containing trace amounts of lidocaine to a patient with lidocaine allergy could result in a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
Dexmedetomidine Hydrochloride in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection is approved for intravenous use and indicated for sedation of non-intubated patients prior to and/or during surgical and other procedures. Listed below is a table of the recalled lot distributed nationwide to wholesalers, distributors, hospitals and pharmacies between April 9, 2020 and April 13, 2020. An image of the label is also included below.
- Dexmedetomidine HCl in 0.9%. Sodium Chloride Injection, 200 mcg / 50 mL (4 mcg / mL), 50 mL fill in a 50 mL vial. NDC Number: 63323-671-50. Product Code: 671050. Batch number: 6123925. Expiration Date: 03/2022. First Ship Date: 04/09/2020. Last Ship Date: 04/13/2020
Fresenius Kabi is notifying its distributors and customers by letter and asking them to check their stock immediately and to quarantine and discontinue the use and distribution of any affected product.
Distributors should notify their customers and direct them to quarantine and discontinue distributing or dispensing any affected lots, and to return the product to Fresenius Kabi.
Customers with questions regarding this recall may contact Fresenius Kabi at 1-866-716-2459 Monday through Friday, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time. Consumers should contact their physician or health care provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.
Check the full recall details on fda.gov
Source: FDA ”
October 28, 2020 10:00 PM
“Company name: Whole Foods Market
Brand name: Whole Foods Market
Product recalled: Macaroni and Cheese products
Reason of the recall: Undeclared egg
FDA Recall date: October 28, 2020
Recall details: Whole Foods Market is voluntarily recalling select prepared Macaroni & Cheese products from store... s across five states because they contain undeclared egg. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to egg run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.
The affected products were sold at Whole Foods Market stores in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The product was sold in plastic containers and in family-style meal kits with Whole Foods Market scale labels in the prepared foods department, available both hot and refrigerated. The product was also available from the chef’s case counter and from Whole Foods Market online and catering menus. The affected products can be identified by the following information. All affected product has been removed from store shelves. No allergic reactions have been reported to date.
- Macaroni & Cheese, chef’s case. Product Code (begins with) M: 286501. Best by 10/28/2020
- Macaroni & Cheese, packaged. Product Code (begins with) M: 263608. Best by 10/27/2020
- Macaroni & Cheese, online and catering. Product Code (begins with) M: 114449 | 109866. Best by 10/23/2020
- Rotisserie Chicken Meals with Mac & Cheese and Broccoli, packaged. Product Code (begins with) M: 261596 | 261580 | 261590 | 261601 | 261608 | 261616. Best by 10/26/2020
- Fried Chicken Meal with Mac & Cheese, packaged. Product Code (begins with) M: 247257. Best by 10/25/2020
- Fried Chicken Meal with Mac & Cheese, packaged on hot bar. Product Code (begins with) M: 237444. Best by 10/24/2020
- Chicken Rustico Romano Chef Plate with Mac & Cheese and Broccoli, packaged. Product Code (begins with) M: 241442. Best by 10/28/2020
- Chicken Breast Chef Plate with Mac & Cheese and Broccoli, packaged. Product Code (begins with) M: 299430. Best by 10/28/2020
- BBQ Turkey Meatballs Chef Plate with Mac & Cheese and Green Beans, packaged. Product Code (begins with) M: 241464. Best by 10/28/2020
- Roasted Turkey Chef Plate with Mac & Cheese and Broccoli, packaged. Product Code (begins with) M: 242019. Best by 10/28/2020
Customers who purchased this product at Whole Foods Market can bring a valid receipt into stores for a full refund. Consumers with additional questions can call 1-844-936-8255 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, or 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Saturday through Sunday.
Check the full recall details on fda.gov
Source: FDA ”
They do not report positive COVID cases, In-N-Out Burger Distribution Center, Hamburger Lane, Baldwin Park, CA, USA
In-N-Out Burger Distribution Center, Hamburger Lane, Baldwin Park, CA, USA
October 31, 2020 12:15 AM
“I am a Butcher for the In N Out Meat Department in Baldwin Park. They do not report positive COVID cases. They just recently began social distance. Supervisor and managers and associates are covid positive or with symptoms. One associate has lost his sister to covid. He was never quarantined. In n o... ut burger is responsible for a big part in the spread of the virus all across California. ”
Taco Bell, Buttonwillow, CA 93206, USA
November 25, 2020 12:00 PM
“Alleged Hazards: Employee worked the night shift on Friday, September 4. Employee said they felt sick experiencing, fatigue, sore throat and dizziness. Employee's manager required employee to remain working because they did not have a fever. When employee arrived home from work had a fever of 101. O... n Saturday, 9/5/2020, an Employee was scheduled to work in the morning but did not go in due to feeling sick, a fever, sore throat, weakness and headache. Supervisor told employee to come in even though employee told the supervisor of the symptoms. Employee does not have medical insurance so a medical appointment was made. Employee was tested for COVID-19 on Sunday (9-6). Later that day, employee took documents to manager to demonstrate that employee had been tested for COVID-19.
Alleged Hazards: 1, Employees Exposed: 1
Source: Osha.gov | Receipt Date: 2020-09-08 ”
Covid-19 OSHA Complaint, MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, 401 15th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98372, USA
MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, 401 15th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98372, USA
November 10, 2020 12:00 PM
“1) Inadequate PPE provided to speech language pathologists (SLPs) working in what, per OSHA guidelines, would be deemed Extremely High" risk environments. For example, within the acute care setting at Mary Bridge and Good Samaritan Hospital, only a few SLPs have N95 masks. According to the Which Mas... k for Which Task guidelines, the risk level in this setting is "Extremely High" and warrants N95s or CAPR/PAPR. 2) Inadequate PPE provided to SLPs working in, per OSHA guidelines, a "High Risk" environment, warranting a respirator or above. For example, in the outpatient setting at Tacoma General and the in-patient rehab and out-patient setting at Good Samaritan Hospital, SLPs are performing swallow and voice treatments with surgical masks only.
Source: Osha.gov | Receipt Date: 2020-08-31 ”
Blair Rubber Co, 5020 Panther Parkway, Seville, OH 44273, USA
November 18, 2020 12:00 PM
“1. The employer is not sanitizing the facility as required. A worker that was on site recently tested positive for the Covid-19 virus and the facility has not been sanitized. 2. The employer is not providing the proper PPE to the workers onsite, in particular the facemasks to help prevent the spread... of the Covid-19 virus.
Alleged Hazards: 2, Employees Exposed: 1
Source: Osha.gov | Receipt Date: 2020-10-15 ”