The impact of COVID-19 in Taiwan: a Taiwanese Observation

The impact of COVID-19 in Taiwan: a Taiwanese Observation

Tai-Ting Chen 2020/4/26

 It’s the 97th day since the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was announced by Taiwan Centers for Disease Control. At the time of writing, a cumulative total of 429 confirmed cases, including 6 death cases and 275 recovered cases, have been reported. To address the challenge of novel coronavirus pandemic, Taiwan government has conduct strategic deployment and swift response.

 Firstly, self-health management plays a crucial role in preventing infection and halting transmission. Government organized national mask team that produces sufficient and qualified face masks desperately to ensure fair chance to buy masks. Presently, each Taiwanese can purchase 9 masks every 14 days by showing national health insurance card or making online reservation on eMask cyber system, at only around US$0.17 per mask. Moreover, daily press conferences are held to report current situation of COVID-19 pandemic and to educate citizens about personal hygiene and health habits. The conferences not only enhance the public trust on government, but also avoid the panic owing to rumors and misunderstandings.

Face mask sold by the Government through the use of National Health Insurance card

 Then, Taiwan carried effective procedures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 virus. Travelers returning to Taiwan are subjected to 14-day home quarantine. The healthcare system set up contact tracing system to identify people who contacted with confirmed cases and required them to take obligatory 14 days period of home isolation. By quarantine and contact tracing, central and local government spare no effort to control sporadic and clusters outbreak.

 In addition, government imposed the crowded control measures at public place to prevent potential infection chain. Citizens are urged to keep social distancing at least 1.5meters in indoor space and 1 meter outside. Mandatory temperature check, hand sanitation and mask wearing are required when entering public space, such as hospitals, transportation stations, governmental institutes, tourist spots and so on.

Daily press briefing given by the Central Epidemic Command Center

 COVID-19 pandemic indeed affected to a wide extent in Taiwan. The related restrictions or policies regarding COVID-19 pandemic remain to be decided depending on epidemic state. In terms of my experiences, I have to wear face mask every time and everywhere and avoid indoor gathering situation. To minimize the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission, my family, just like most Taiwanese, prefer to stay home as possible on holiday, order take-out meals or cook at home, and shop online instead in stores. As a result, some department stores, theaters, restaurants and entertainment spaces are forced to shorten business hours or even close. The social events, sport competitions and economic activities are cancelled or postponed.

Body temperature check conducted on passengers boarding the train

 The structural changes of consumption pattern and trend cause considerable economic loss in service industries, such as tourism, transportation, hotels, retails, restaurants and catering. Due to uncertainty of virus outbreak and medical development, the financial business and investment become weak. To mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and revitalize industries, government conducted countermeasures in financial support and resource allocation. Taiwan government, medical institutes, laboratorial units, private sectors, and citizens work together and devote effort to against unprecedented trend of COVID-19 pandemic.

Open air markets are still open and everybody has to wear mask