NBC praises Taiwan’s handling of Wuhan coronavirus epidemic

Lining up for masks in Taipei Friday March 13 


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The world can learn from Taiwan how to combat the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) as it took all the right measures early on, including setting up a command center, tightening up its borders, and using advanced technology to track cases, United States media NBC reported.

Even though Taiwan is much closer to China, it has recorded far fewer coronavirus cases and deaths than other countries such as South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy, NBC noted. On Friday (March 13), Taiwan announced its 50th case, while so far, only one person has died after being infected.

The island nation suspected early on the virus might become a threat due to the common language with China, and the sending of a fact-finding team to Wuhan, NBC reported. While the experts did not see everything they wanted, they felt the situation might turn dangerous.

Taiwan reacted rapidly by imposing travel restrictions before any other country and by forming the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to coordinate its approach.

Technology played a key role in the campaign, with health insurance cards showing recent foreign travel data and dedicated smartphones to see if individuals were respecting the necessary quarantine measures.

NBC also cited the export ban on masks, the affordable health care insurance system, and a campaign of public information about how to avoid infection, with the experience of the 2003 SARS epidemic making a vital contribution to Taiwan’s efforts.