Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a novel infectious disease that poses a major threat to global health. On May 15, Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare held an online forum Review of COVID-19 prevention and control strategies in Taipei and invited health officials from the United States, Japan, Canada and other like-minded countries around 50 participants from 14 countries/regional organizations. The forum underlined that preventing the spread of diseases and maintaining health of all humankinds are universal values, while no countries can stand aside or achieve these on their own. Acting Assistant Secretary of U.S. Department of State for International Organization Affairs Pam Pryor praised the Taiwan Model for Combating COVID-19, reaffirmed that the United States vigorously supports Taiwan’s participation in international organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), and expressed that they are grateful other countries stand together to support Taiwan’s inclusion in the global health system. Deputy Director of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Global Affairs Colin McIff also echoed the Taiwan Model, and stressed the U.S. support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO. At the forum, delegation of participating countries complimented Taiwan’s efforts combating COVID-19 and discussed their prevention and control measures as well as future collaborations.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-Chung (陳時中) addressed that in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Taiwan has set strategies for epidemic surveillance, border controls, community-based prevention and control, stockpile of medical supplies, and health education and outreach, which have adopted measures including expanding community-based monitoring, strengthening laboratory diagnostic capacity, banning foreign nationals transiting or entering Taiwan, requiring inbound travelers to undergo a 14-day home quarantine, connecting community quarantine through the smart quarantine system, establishing a name-based rationing system for face masks distribution, and implementing social distancing, to prevent the spread of the disease and keep health and safety of the people in Taiwan. In addition, Minister Chen revealed that Taiwan’s successful response to COVID-19 lies in six key aspects: rapid mobilization between the government and the private sector, prompt decision-making, thorough implementation of measures, well-coordinated distribution of medical supplies, transparent information and advanced technology so that the people in Taiwan can maintain normal life and daily activities with only a few cases of local transmission occurred.
In the forum, Digital Minister Audrey Tang (唐鳳) of Taiwan Executive Yuan shared Taiwan’s experience in combating COVID-19 using digital technology. Director-General Chou Jih-Haw (周志浩) of Taiwan Centers for Disease Control reviewed the COVID-19 prevention and control strategies and discussed prevention and control measures, evacuation flights, and risk communication in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, while underlining the importance and necessity of Taiwan's inclusion in the WHO for combating COVID-19. Also present at the forum were Ambassador-at-Large Yung-Tung Wu (吳運東), Deputy Minister Chi-Kung Ho (何啟功), Secretary General Shun-Ping Cheng (鄭舜平), Counsellor Li-Ling Liu (劉麗玲) of Ministry of Health and Welfare and Director-General Bob L.J. Chen (陳龍錦) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly across the globe, Taiwan will continue to offer humanitarian aid through bilateral and multilateral channels, as well as share our experience and expertise, to show that Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping!