Taiwan is one of the few countries to “flatten the curve” while maintaining an open domestic economy. Earlier this week, Taiwan only had 104 active cases of Covid-19. Even more impressive, given its geographic position, is the state only had 27 new cases on March 20.
The key to its success was early action, far earlier than many other countries including New Zealand. While most only reacted to Covid-19 after the first confirmed case (between January and February), Taiwan started its epidemic response on the last day of 2019.
Before the first confirmed case outside China was reported, Taiwan’s Centre for Disease Control immediately set up border restrictions for arrivals from the province of Wuhan. This was followed by a suite of further restrictions on both incoming and outgoing travel and strict mandatory quarantine.
Taiwan’s response was not only quick, it was highly efficient and effective. It had prepared exceptional epidemiological and health infrastructure as a key lesson from the 2003 SARS epidemic. Screening tools such as temperature monitoring, track and trace technology and protective equipment was already in place for the next pandemic.