TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taiwan has consistently been praised for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, especially given its high level of risk.
Taiwan has a weekly average of 150,000 cross-strait airline passengers and another 183,000 weekly passengers between Taiwan-Macau and Taiwan-Hong Kong.
Yet as of this morning, Taiwan only has 42 cases out of the more than 85,000 cases in Asia.
Many attribute such success on how effectively Taiwan has used what they learned from the SARS epidemic to prevent another outbreak in the future.
The main feature was the creation of the National Health Command Center (NHCC) which facilitates the centralization of outbreak response.
For example, the national health service database and the immigration customs database were combined in order to quickly track down and contact any recent traveler diagnosed with coronavirus-related symptoms.
Furthermore, Taiwan’s dedication to clear and frequent communication has contributed to low number of cases and the government’s 70 percent approval rating.
The government limited the spread of false information and panic through frequent public service announcements and informational sessions to schools and businesses.
It also created a dialogue between its citizens and government by opening multiple hotlines across the country.
In addition, all travelers and citizens designated to home-quarantine are contacted through mobile phone every day to ensure honest and accurate results to safeguard the entire public.
In fact, one couple on Feb. 7 was charged NT$300,000 for breaking the home-quarantine rule.
When compared to other nations, Taiwan sets an aspirational example. They offer compensation for quarantined individuals, paid-leave for workers if their children show any symptoms, and the stockpiling of surgical masks to ensure all citizens can both acquire and afford them throughout the entire outbreak.
They also began screening flight passengers for coronavirus symptoms and considered it an infectious disease even before their first case, implementing prevention-based plans, not only reaction-based responses.