With the world grappling to manage the Coronavirus pandemic, there may be a lot to be realized from Taiwan. The latter, regardless of its geographical proximity to and substantial financial and people-to-people connections with China, has thus far registered solely 216 COVID-19 instances and simply two deaths on the time of scripting this. And many of the instances have been imported by these travelling overseas or foreigners visiting or transiting via Taiwan. Compare this to Japan the place there have been 1,193 instances and 43 deaths. Clearly, Taiwan is doing one thing proper and it might be useful for different nations to observe comparable protocols.
Taiwan’s success in conserving COVID-19 numbers comparatively low and manageable regardless of the excessive threat components is actually right down to its fast response. It had learnt its classes properly from the SARS epidemic and took measures to make sure a well-coordinated epidemic prevention equipment. Today Taiwan is reaping the fruits of these efforts in previous years. For instance, after SARS Taiwan arrange a nationwide well being command centre together with a central epidemic command centre. The latter was activated on January 20 in gentle of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, Taiwan has digitised illness monitoring methods, ample inventory of preventive medical gear, and holds annual illness prevention and management drills.
All of this allowed Taiwan to maneuver rapidly in opposition to the Coronavirus. In reality, as early as December 31 Taiwanese officers boarded direct flights from Wuhan — the epicentre of the illness — to verify passengers for fever and pneumonia signs and ordered suspected sufferers into isolation. It then merged well being and journey databases — Taiwan is a world chief in digital well being — to trace and establish instances. Meanwhile, the Taiwanese authorities moved to stockpile provides, recruiting tons of of reserve troopers to work on manufacturing traces for surgical and N95 masks, in order that by finish of January there have been 44 million and two million items of every respectively. Authorities additionally vigorously pursued quarantine violators and cracked down on misinformation and faux information. All of this with out imposing wide-ranging lockdowns.
On January 21, Taiwan’s National Security Council convened to coordinate efforts between varied ministries from well being and transportation to labour and schooling. And by February 6 Taiwan banned all Chinese nationals from the island. All of those measures taken rapidly means Taiwan right this moment is well-prepared to comprise the unfold of COVID-19. But inexplicably Taiwan, regardless of its confirmed observe file in healthcare and present successes, is stored out of the worldwide well being structure over politics by China. Taiwan is blocked from collaborating within the World Health Assembly — the decision-making physique of the WHO — simply because China sees Taiwan as a renegade province and doesn’t have cordial relations with the present Taiwanese dispensation.
This is absurd. Imagine how a lot Taiwan may have contributed to world well being had it been allowed to freely take part in all WHO deliberations. The present COVID-19 outbreak reveals that there can’t be politics and untouchability in healthcare. Diseases don’t recognise worldwide borders and territories. We are all on this collectively and should study from one another. Taiwan has vital healthcare experience. Taiwan will help.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the creator’s personal.