How Taiwan has been able to keep COVID-19 at bay

Focus Taiwan
Date: 03/16/2020
By Chiang Yi-ching, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Wang Cheng-chung, CNA staff writers

 Engineers tasked with assembling mask production units at a factory in New Taipei.

In January, when the world started taking notice of COVID-19, a new coronavirus disease that was rapidly spreading from the Chinese city of Wuhan, researchers at John Hopkins University predicted that Taiwan would be one of the hardest-hit countries.

Taiwan sits just 130 kilometers from China; 404,000 of its 23 million citizens were working in China in 2019, and more than 2.7 million Chinese nationals traveled to Taiwan that same year. A massive outbreak in the country seemed all but inevitable.

Yet despite the odds, Taiwan had recorded only 67 cases of the disease as of Monday, with one patient dying. That's significantly lower compared to its East Asian neighbors. China, where the disease was first detected, has 81,020 cases and 3,217 deaths to date. South Korea has seen 8,162 people infected and 75 dead, while Japan has reported 839 cases and 22 deaths.

As COVID-19 continues to spread at an unprecedented pace in countries like the United States, Italy and Iran, public health scholars have pointed to Taiwan as a society that has responded quickly to the crisis and has effectively protected its citizens.    [FULL  STORY]

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