Taiwan’s COVID-19 Success Story Continues as Neighbors Fend Off New Outbreaks

Unlike countries like Vietnam and New Zealand, Taiwan has managed to keep its five-month streak of no local COVID-19 transmissions alive.

The Diplomat
Date: September 11, 2020
By: Nick Aspinwall   

President Tsai Ing-wen visits Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center for the coronavirus response during the early stages of the pandemic, Feb. 7, 2020.
Credit: Flickr/ Presidential Office, ROC (Taiwan)

Taiwan has been cast along with other East Asian and Oceanian states as one of the world’s COVID-19 success stories. But as countries such as New Zealand and Vietnam have seen domestic outbreaks during the summer, Taiwan’s last five months and counting continue to be defined by one number: Zero, the number of local transmissions recorded since April 12.

On that day, Taiwan had confirmed a total of 388 cases. As of Friday, Taiwan had recorded a total of 498. Every positive COVID-19 case recorded since April 12 has been either imported – from a person traveling from abroad who tested positive during a mandatory 14-day quarantine – or from a cluster aboard a navy ship returning from a goodwill trip to Palau.

It’s a remarkable achievement for Taiwan, which recorded its first coronavirus case on January 21 and, that same month, was projected by experts to have the world’s second-worst outbreak after China.

Instead, life has remained normal. The country has never instituted lockdown measures and the vast majority of businesses remain open. The closure of borders to international travelers has led to a domestic tourism boom, with hotspots like Hualien, Taitung, and Kenting seeing overflows of Taiwanese visitors during the summer.    [FULL  STORY]

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