COVID-19 in Taiwan

Taiwan (China) // 22 June, 2020

At least 446 cases and seven deaths. Domestic COVID-19 activity contained, occasional imported cases reported. Activities in public places resumed on 7 June. 

See Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control website for the latest situation updates.

22 June:  Three more cases reported in the last week.  They were associated with travel, having returned from Bangladesh (transited via Malaysia). All passengers who have recently returned from abroad are placed in a designated quarantine facility. 

15 June: Two new imported cases of COVID-19 were reported today in a couple who recently returned from Bangladesh. More than 400 cases have now recovered, according to the Taiwan Centers for Disease control, and testing efforts continue, with nearly 70,000 tests already completed. International commercial flights remain significantly reduced, and all foreign nationals are denied entry until further notice, with some exceptions. Social distancing measures have been relaxed, and most businesses have resumed operations. Masks remain mandatory on public transportation.

10 June:  The Ministry of Health and Welfare have launched a COVID-19 website for Taiwan called “Crucial policy for combating COVID-19”. It provides more detailed information about  "[...] all epidemic prevention strategies formulated by the central and local governments and provides the timeline of these strategies to share the Taiwan Model and successful factors in containing COVID-19 with the public and the international community." 

2 June: Sporadic imported cases continue, with the latest imported from the United States. The traveller was picked up at the airport after declaring symptoms on arrival. At least 443 cases have been confirmed, of which 427 people have recovered. There have not been any locally acquired cases in over seven weeks. 

30 May:  Media sources today report that remdesivir has been approved to treat patients in Taiwan with 'severe' COVID-19 illness. 

29 May:  No new cases reported in Taiwan since 20 May. 

22 May:  In the past week, only one case was reported. This was an individual who had returned from Mexico on 20 May.  The man developed symptoms while Mexico and was isolated taken into medical medical upon arrival into Taiwan. Health officials in Taiwan have not reported a domestic COVID-19 case since 12 April.

15 May: Only one new case has been reported since 7 May. Health officials continue to re-enforce the government's COVID-19 prevention measures. This includes; wearing a face mask in public transport, good personal hygiene practices and social distancing. 

7 May: Ten additional cases have been reported in the last week. A total of 439 cases have been confirmed; 55 locally-acquired cases, 348 imported cases and 36 naval personnel. Among these are six fatal cases and 339 people who have recovered. From 7 and 8 May some restrictions will begin to be loosened; Taiwanese nationals in Hubei can return home, people can begin to apply for lodging in several national parks and up to 1,000 spectators can attend matches of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).

30 April: Only two cases reported in the past six days, bringing the total number of cases to 429. This early success is mainly due to their early approach to prevention and mitigation including, swiftly implementing travel bans, quarantine and contact tracing.

24 April: Since 17 April, at least 32 new COVID-19 cases reported. The majority of these cases are linked to a Taiwanese navy ship which had returned from friendly mission in Palau. At least 700 crew were on the ship, and there is a period of three days where the sailors disembarked to when they were recalled. The authorities in Taiwan have identified 90 locations across Taiwan where the sailors visited during this time. Quarantine and monitoring of the sailors is ongoing as well as contact tracing.

17 April: See the excerpt taken below from the Executive Summary published 15 April 2020...

“Taiwan has a population the same as Australia (25 million) but a fraction of the coronavirus cases”

Professor Ih-Jen Su began annual rehearsals of a possible pandemic from China almost two decades ago after SARS killed more than 20 per cent of people it infected in Taiwan. The director of infectious diseases at Taiwan's National Health Research Institutes established dedicated respiratory nursing homes with thousands of ventilators and increased intensive care capacity to 10,000 beds, four times the size of Australia's capacity even though the two have roughly the same population.

Taiwan has recorded 385 cases of COVID-19 to Australia's 6,314. It began scrutinising and quarantining passengers on flights from Wuhan and Guangdong in December, implemented travel bans on China and introduced strict social-distancing measures in January. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald on 12 April from Taipei, Professor Su said Taiwan had always kept a step ahead of the information from China. "When they say it seems to have human-to-human transmission, we have a sense that there must be a big human-to-human outbreak so we start ahead of the information," he said. "That is why Western countries suffer so much, even in Europe and the United States. They don’t have the experience of Taiwan."

Professor Su sent experts to Wuhan at the first sign of an outbreak in December.

Taiwan initiated the response it had spent 17 years rehearsing, Professor Su said. "We are so close to China, Taiwan would be the first country suffering from any outbreak. We exercise hospital and control measures one to two times a year. The most important thing is the earlier the better for control measures".

Thirty dedicated public health physicians took over the health system and 1,100 quarantine facilities were set up across the country.

NPR, 14 APRIL: Taiwan reported no new coronavirus cases on 14 April, marking the first time authorities there have reported zero new cases in more than a month. It's also the latest achievement for a health system that first acted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 back in December. The last time Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center announced no new cases was on March 9, 36 days ago.


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