Both Taiwanese and Chinese news media and opposition lawmakers are criticizing the government for failing to constrain the price of rapid tests.
As the government constantly reiterates, many recent cases have been asymptomatic, and yet those without symptoms are not eligible for free testing, and the price of rapid test kits can be more than three times the price of the same kits in other developed countries, such as Germany or Singapore who pay the equivalent of about 100NT for a kit.
The Chinese media, who constantly surveil Taiwanese media and social media, despite those services (such as facebook) being inaccessible to normal Chinese citizens and residents, have taken notice and repeated those criticisms.
The Observer (觀察者) has also cited a distribution program in Keelung, the source of one of the outbreaks, which only provided enough free kits to check a tenth of the city’s population.
The pressure to buy and maintain supply of those test kits is becoming increasingly important as the government is slowly shedding its responsibility to deal with the virus, causing many to take measures into their own hands.
Some schools in virus hotspots in Northern Taiwan are now requiring proof of a negative test before allowing attendance, causing both shortages of test kits in many areas, and personal and financial difficulties for many families.