Though many had returned to Taiwan from China after Lunar New Year, only 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus and one death was reported.
The number is relatively low given the 23million population of the country. Compared to 100 affected countries, Taiwan only has 1 in every 500,000 people.
In December, right after China’s notification to the World Health Organization, Taiwan immediately ordered the inspection of Wuhan arrivals to the country.
The quick response to the situation helped Taiwan to contain the virus.
Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control also sent a team to China for fact-finding 12 days after China’s declaration to the WHO.
Taiwan’s CDC also activated its Central Epidemic Command Center for all communications and for the quick rollout of rules and guidelines. The Command Center includes fund allocation, personnel assignment, and disinfection guidelines.
All these efforts happened before Taiwan’s first case on January 21.
After the first case, flights from Wuhan was also banned immediately.
The country also used QR codes to report travel history online-which goes directly to their country’s CDC.
MANDATORY QUARANTINE AND TRACKING
Also, all arrivals from countries with cases are put under mandatory home quarantine. They are tracked using location sharing of their mobile phones. If someone doesn’t abide by the rule or not report symptoms, they will be facing fines.
FACE MASK SUPPLY
The government also ensured the availability of face masks and other medical supplies. They banned exporting of these essentials and implemented rationing and pricing system.
The government asked the media to have hourly announcements about the virus- frequent hand washing, how to wear a mask, symptoms and risk level just to name a few.
LEARNING FROM HISTORY
From the SARS outbreak from 2003, Taiwan used their data and lessons to good use. Since the pandemic is quite similar, the country was able to prepare.
Taiwan’s health insurance covers 99% of the population which enables the citizens to not be afraid to go to the hospital. According to reports, citizens can get free testing and if someone has to be in the mandatory 14-day quarantine, their food, lodging, and medical expenses will be covered.