WHO exclusion results in prevention delay: Vice President

Vice President Chen Chien-Jen believes that in the fight against the coronavirus, Taiwan and the WHO will not be at full-strength as long as Taiwan is not at the table. (Screengrab of Japan Forward)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — In an interview with Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbuns bureau chief, Yasuto Tanaka, released on Monday, Vice President Chen Chien-Jen said that Taiwan and the WHO will not be at full strength in terms in prevention as long as Taiwan is not at the table.

Taiwan is one of the most at-risk nations due to its proximity to China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, yet it is not apart of the WHO, he told the Japanese publication.

Therefore, the vice president argues that Taiwan received delayed health information, something that exacerbated the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003. That said, Chen states that Taiwan has the coronavirus relatively under control, showing its ability to combat infectious diseases.

This fact, along with Taiwan’s experience with SARS and its top-tier health care system and health records system, means Taiwan could be one of China’s and the WHO’s top allies. Furthermore, Taiwan suggested that the coronavirus might be spread by human-to-human contact before the WHO and China had considered it, he explained.

If, Chen said, Taiwan’s continued reports and suggestions were allowed to be released and considered within the WHO, the outbreak could have been avoided or lessened.

Despite the hurdles presented by China and the WHO, Taiwan is grateful to Japan who has not only properly handled the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship and Taiwan’s own passengers but has also advocated for Taiwan’s input in the WHO making them a true friend, he pointed out.

See interview excerpts here