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Taiwan Experience in Controlling COVID-19

by Audrey Hazel

Before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO, Taiwan had implemented border controls earlier than Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries, and implemented a number of measures to prevent the virus from spreading locally.

Taipei, Taiwan (Merxwire) – Although Taiwan is only 130 kilometers away from China, and the interaction between the two is frequent, before the outbreak of COVID-19, Taiwan had already made quick decisions and epidemic prevention countermeasures, so that the routes and scope of infection were effectively controlled. Its experience is worthy of reference by various countries.

Governments and citizens around the world are struggling to cope with the new coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), this new coronavirus has not yet possessed vaccines and therapeutic agents, and has unknown mutational capabilities in humans. In the face of unknown enemies, Taiwan increased its awareness of the crisis, immediately restricted the export of masks, and implemented strict entry quarantine to prevent the virus from entering and infecting the population on a large scale. The following measures are provided to countries for reference.

1. Border controls and quarantine measures
Starting from February 6, Taiwan bans entry of anyone who has lived in China or Hong Kong within the past 14 days, and with the assessment of the spread of coronavirus, restrictions have been imposed on more countries and regions. So far, all travelers returning from abroad must accept self-quarantine for two weeks.

2. Government-led public-private collaboration
Taiwan established an open and transparent epidemic information platform based on the “Communicable Disease Control Act” and “Central Epidemic Situation Command Center”. From January 23 to the present, a Press Conference is held every day to announce the latest virus epidemic situation. Meanwhile The export of masks is prohibited, and the resources of the government and private enterprises are integrated to greatly increase the production line and output of surgical masks.

3. Use of mass media
Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began to use the “Disaster Prevention Cell Broadcasting System” in January to provide accurate epidicic information to the public in time. In addition, The government also worked with the civil sector to launch various “mask maps” and “Epidemic prevention maps” let the public know immediately the number of masks in more than 6,000 pharmacies in Taiwan.

4. Raise public health awareness
Taiwan medical experts have assessed that COVID-19 has a high infection rate and mortality rate, and may still leave sequela after recovery. Therefore, timely adjustment of social and lifestyle patterns is the best mitigation measure, including: wearing a mask is to reduce human infection of viruses etiquette can protect yourself and others. Wash your hands frequently, and do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands. And often disinfect the environment to maintain social distance with others.

5. Clarify the error message
In the information age, the Internet may be flooded with COVID-19 error messages. In order to prevent it from happening, Taiwan established the “FactCheck Center” to verify whether the information on the Internet is correct. If there is an error message, it must be clarified to the public immediately to reduce unnecessary panic and anxiety. Publishing fast and correct information can make the public more united and implement effective measures issued by the government. 

To combat COVID-19, a single combat method is not feasible. It is necessary to integrate government and private resources and initiate comprehensive response measures. Through the unity and cooperation of all the public, the infection rate of the virus can be effectively reduced. Therefore, open and transparent information is the key to calling on all people to implement prevention measures together.

Information for reference: Taiwan Centers for Disease Control

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