Taiwan a success in the battle against Covid-19

Story/Video posted April 30, 2020 in Covid-19 by Josie Chen.

Taiwan is one of the countries that has been most effective at containing the spread of Covid-19 since its early outbreak stages.

The success of Taiwan's national health care system and Central Epidemic Response Team's helped Tiffany and Kimberly Tsu to make the decision to leave Manhattan, where both are students at New York University, and fly home to Taiwan. They decided that it would be safer to continue the rest of their semester at home rather than staying in New York, even if it meant going through a 15-hour flight and being quarantined for two weeks on arrival.

They said they were much more confident in Taiwan's response to the coronavirus than what they were seeing in the United States. 

This success did not come easily. C. Jason Wang reported in JAMA Network that Taiwan was at first expected to have the second highest rate of COVID-19 cases since Taiwan’s coast is only 81 miles away from mainland China, where the pandemic originated, and people frequently fly back and forth.

However, Taiwan took lessons learned from SARS in 2003 and established a public health response mechanism for containing and performing rapid actions for the next crisis. The Taiwan Center for Disease Control has been tracking the development of the virus and cooperating with the Center for Disease Control in the United States since December. The Central Epidemic Response Team was activated in January 22, 2020. Two days later there were just two confirmed cases in Taiwan.

“Taiwan leveraged its national health insurance database and integrated it with its immigration and customs database to begin the creation of big data for analytics; it generated real-time alerts during a clinical visit based on travel history and clinical symptoms to aid case identification,” Wang wrote.

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Response Team used border control, case identification, and containment then, reincorporate new technology such as a QR code system to control and identify new cases.

On a scale of 0 to 100, the independent statistical archive NUMBEO, rates Taiwan’s health care system at 86.71, highest among all countries, following by South Korea with 81.97. While the United States scored a 69.27 with a ranking of 30.