By Taiwan Tourism Bureau on March 19, 2020
Kuala Lumpur, 19 March 2020 – It has been more than two months since reports emerged about a new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, named COVID-19. Today, more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported, including in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. As the number of cases climb, one island stood out in its control of the pandemic.
Taiwan has managed to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the island; 100 cases have been confirmed to-date, of which over 70% are imported cases*. Taiwan has proven wrong predictions by early risk assessment that identified Taiwan among the most likely to see a rapid spread of the virus due to many factors such as Taiwanﾕs proximity to China and large number of Taiwanese and foreigners travelling to and from the affected areas.
The current number of confirmed cases in Taiwan is considered relatively low and some international health experts credit this to Taiwanﾕs quick preparation and early intervention that includes immediate stricter border control, testing before being allowed to deplane, banning travellers coming from high-risk and high-affected countries. The Taiwan government also activated its Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) before the Lunar New Year, to coordinate all responses and updates. CECC conducts strict precautionary measures and screenings at its international airport to ensure that those who are affected are quarantined and receive a proper treatment. CECC is part of the National Health Command Center (NHCC) which was established after the SARS epidemic in 2002 and 2003 and this has helped the government monitor its citizensﾕ and travellersﾕ health better.
The people of Taiwan are also to be credited for the good control of the COVID-19 spread. They personally intensified own safety practices and take responsibility for their own health. They complied with the governmentﾕs policies and helped prevent COVID-19 from escalating. Building management also played their role by screening entrants for signs of fever and making available hand sanitisers for elevator users.
According to Puan Zaharah, representative of the Chinese Muslim Association of Taiwan, ﾒMuslims in Taiwan have also taken extra precautions. They wear masks and have their body temperature checked when entering mosques and suraus. Anyone who has fever is strictly not allowed to enter the premises. Those who have symptoms of flu such as cough and fever are immediately asked to refer to the hospital for check-ups and are advised to perform prayers at home. As an extra precaution, deep sanitization and disinfection of the mosques and suraus are a basic routine by the authority. Disinfectant alcohol and antibacterial hand wash are also provided at every entrance.ﾓ
The island is united in its fight against the spread of COVID-19. And in view of the situation around the world, Taiwan has further tightened its measures to prevent cases from being brought into its land. CECC has raised a travel notice for 42 countries including Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Northern Africa and one territory in the Middle East to a Level 3 Warning. CECC has advised against all non-essential travels. Travellers who wish to enter Taiwan are subject to 14 days quarantine. An evidence of their strict measures that have kept the island safe, whilst Taiwan wants to continue welcoming visitors, they have also advised to hold travel plans for the time being to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
For more information on COVID-19 updates in Taiwan, please visit Taiwan Centers for Disease Controls website or their Facebook page. Meanwhile, for more information on travelling to Taiwan, please visit Taiwan Tourism Bureau official website or Facebook or call 03-2070 6789 from 9:00am- 5:30pm.