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Virus Outbreak: Antibody testing, medicine advance: Academia Sinica

Academia Sinica Institute of Chemistry associate research fellow Chein Rong-jie, front center, and his team celebrate at the institute in Taipei yesterday after synthesizing a version of the drug remdesivir, thought to be a cure for COVID-19.
Photo courtesy of Academia Sinica

Academia Sinica yesterday said that its researchers have developed an antibody testing method for COVID-19 and have made progress synthesizing remdesivir, a medicine that many believe could cure the infection.


White Terror cases still haunt nation

Two high-profile cases of mysterious deaths from the Martial Law era remain unsolved to this day. Many suspect they were the work of the Taiwan Garrison Command, although this has never been proved.

Despite Taiwan’s gradual democratization in the decades that followed, these unsolved cases demonstrate that transitional justice is still very much a work in progress and that, even today, the chances of unearthing the truth behind the deaths appear as remote as ever.


People come together to overcome mask crisis

The COVID-19 outbreak has triggered panic buying of masks in Taiwan. Starting on Feb. 6, the government centralized the distribution of masks and imposed a limit of two per person per week.

Despite the restrictions, Taiwan does not have the capacity to domestically produce sufficient masks to meet demand. In response, a campaign to persuade the public to forgo masks unless they really need them, called “I’m okay, you take one first,” has gone viral.


Virus Outbreak: Traveler likely source of fatal infection

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, center, speaks at a news conference held by the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

A Taiwanese man who returned from China’s Zhejiang Province late last month has been identified as the suspected source of infection for the nation’s first COVID-19 death, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.


China could be ready for change

In contemporary China, profound political transformation can — and has — taken place in the absence of regime change or Western-style democratization.

The starkest example is the period of “reform and opening” that began in 1978 under Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平). Although Deng rejected multiparty elections, he fundamentally changed the direction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as well as the distribution of power within it.


Virus Outbreak: CECC reports first coronavirus death

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung is flanked by Centers for Disease Control Director-General Chou Jih-haw, left, and National Taiwan University vice president Chang Shan-chwen as he briefs reporters at a news conference at the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in Taiwan, one of whom died on Saturday.

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The UN’s headquarters in New York City is pictured on Oct. 9 last year.
Photo: Reuters

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) yesterday called for Taiwanese reporters to be allowed to cover UN events, including the annual World Health Assembly (WHA).