With eye on China's zero-Covid chaos, Taiwan seizes chance to open up
Taipei, Taiwan (CNN) Business has been swift this week for Oscar Chen, the fourth-generation owner of the Liang Xi Hao restaurant in central Taipei.
Taiwan is allowing restaurants like his to remain open despite a wave of Covid infections -- hitting more than 60,000 cases on Thursday alone -- sweeping through the island.
Many neighborhoods in Shanghai, where there is a sizeable Taiwanese community, have been locked down for weeks.
Taiwan's reopening furthers isolates China as perhaps the last major economy in the world to still be following a zero-Covid policy.
So we don't like city lockdowns or mass testing, and we don't think it is useful to control the spread of the virus," Chen said.
Chen said Taiwan should now focus on increasing the coverage of Covid-19 boosters, as well as increasing the distribution of antiviral drugs and rapid diagnostic kits to the community.
Taiwan's former vice president and epidemiologist Chen Chien-jen says zero-Covid is "mission impossible" as the Omicron variant is highly transmissible.
As Chen put it: "We can see that zero-Covid policy can never reach the goal of totally eliminating the virus in any country."
Taiwanese mother Hsueh, who has a 3-year-old boy, thinks the government should make rules about school suspension clearer before leaving zero-Covid behind.
The difficulty of purchasing the test kits has prompted some residents to complain about the authorities' lack of preparedness.
Other parents fear their children, who are still not eligible for vaccination in Taiwan, are vulnerable.
I have avoided taking my children to indoor playgrounds, and I only take them to parks when there are fewer people."