As you probably already know, Taiwan has been making headlines around the world for its impressive response to the coronavirus pandemic. Since confirming its first case in mid-January, at the time of writing, the country has confirmed just 393 cases of the virus, with 114 of those cases having been released from isolation and six of them unfortunately passing away. Of those 393 cases, 338 are imported, meaning they were brought into the country by foreign visitors or residents and nationals returning to the island.
A huge part of Taiwan’s so far successful response to the virus has been the work of the National Health Command Center, which took 124 actions in the first five weeks of the outbreak. These actions included the use of technology to track cases and those who’ve been in contact with suspected cases, as well as introducing simple methods and initiatives such as compulsory temperature checks and hand sanitizing upon entering public buildings. (Read more: Former Danish PM praises Taiwan)
More recently, all passengers taking public transport are required to wear a facemask, while many nightclubs and KTV bars have also been precautionarily closed. The country’s online facemask rationing system is also now available in English to be more accessible to non-Chinese speaking residents, while masks have become widely more available in convenience stores and pharmacies. (Read more: Taiwan’s online facemask rationing system is now available in English)
However, while the government and local authorities have been exceptional in the way they’ve gone about handling the outbreak, a lot has to be said about the people of Taiwan also. Everyone who has self-isolated when feeling sick, worked from home, washed their hands regularly, worn a mask in public even when not required, or practiced social distancing is a hero in their own right.
Taiwan’s success would not have worked if it wasn’t down to the cooperation of its people. While it is still not permitted for non-residents to enter the country, Taiwan isn’t quite out of the woods yet, should the public continue to cooperate and the government continue their stellar work, life on the island could well be on course to returning to normal. And, to think, Taiwan did all this without any help or guidance from the WHO. Crazy, huh?
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(Cover Photo by Fusion Medical Animation)