Taiwan has got it right

This post will consider how Taiwan has adopted an effective approach to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-10 pandemic gives rise to three potential responses:

  1. An evidence-based approach
  2. An opinion-based approach
  3. An approach in which evidence and opinion are intermingled

This post focuses on an evidence-based approach to dealing with the pandemic.

March 23, 2020 New York Times article describes how to stop COVID-19

A March 23, 2020 New York Times article is entitled: “The virus can be stopped, but only with harsh steps, experts say.”

The articles notes that success in dealing with the pandemic “will take extraordinary levels of coordination and money from the country’s leaders, and extraordinary levels of trust and cooperation from citizens.”

Key points include:

  1. Scientists must be heard
  2. Stop transmission between cities
  3. Stop transmission within cities
  4. Fix the testing mess
  5. Isolate the infected
  6. Find the fevers
  7. Trace the contacts
  8. Make masks ubiquitous
  9. Preserve vital services
  10. Produce ventilators and oxygen
  11. Retrofit hospitals
  12. Decide when to close schools
  13. Recruit volunteers
  14. Prioritize the treatments
  15. Find a vaccine
  16. Reach out to other nations

There is nothing dystopian about Taiwan’s strategy for stopping the virus

I have previously outlined Taiwan’s approach to COVID-19 at a March 24, 2020 post entitled:

Rate of known coronavirus cases in Taiwan is one-fifth the rate of known cases in the United States

The post refers to a March 19, 2020 CBC article about how Taiwan had managed to flatten the curve during the previous several weeks, by pairing and analyzing health and travel records of its residents, along with enacting other emergency measures.

The CBC article implies that such a pairing of health and travel records works fine in Taiwan but would be viewed as dystopian by Canadian standards. However, at the post I also refer to a March 20, 2020 Foreign Affairs article that underlines that Taiwan is a democratic country and there is nothing dystopian about its unique, community-driven approach to civic technology.

The post refers, as well, to a March 3, 2020 JAMA article which highlights the role of big data analytics in stopping the spread of the coronavirus in Taiwan.

I’m very pleased to share these details about one country’s effective, evidence-based approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19. It’s a delight to know of a democratic country whose government and citizens are working together to stop the spread of infection at this most difficult time.

Pandemic offers Taiwan a chance to push back against China

An April 22, 2020 New York Times article is entitled: “The pandemic offers Taiwan a chance to push back against China.”

An excerpt reads:

Officials in Taiwan are attempting to turn their success in battling the coronavirus at home into a geopolitical win, sending millions of masks emblazoned with the words “made in Taiwan” to countries hit hard by the crisis and launching a diplomatic and public relations campaign.

The larger topic is public health leadership

A subsequent post, which addresses public health leadership cultures, is entitled:

Sobering thoughts, regarding distinctions in public health leadership culture

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