Former Vice President Chen Chien-jen sat down for an exclusive interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN show GPS Sept. 13 via video link from Taipei City to expound on the Taiwan Model for combating coronavirus.
Stringent contact tracing and tracking, rather than mass screening, has played a key role in Taiwan’s efficient and effective management of COVID-19, Chen said, adding that measures such as 14-day mandatory quarantine for those who came in contact with confirmed cases have helped Taiwan stay on top of the pandemic.
Chen said that quarantining a total of 250,000 people to date has ensured the safety of Taiwan’s 23 million citizens, who are able to continue life as usual instead of undergoing large-scale lockdowns. This has allowed the country to avoid the economic impact of shuttering local businesses, he added.
According to Chen, who cited a paper published in U.S.-based New England Journal of Medicine, a large number of atypical pneumonia cases first found in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year were not reported to the World Health Organization. Lack of communication along with failure of Chinese authorities to isolate mild cases in the city is a major reason the disease was able to become so widespread, he said.
An epidemiologist trained at Johns Hopkins University in the U.S., Chen also cautioned the international community not to let its guard down as coronavirus will continue impacting the world in the coming months.
Latest statistics from the Central Epidemic Command Center reveal 499 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Taiwan as of Sept. 14, with seven deaths. A total of 28,985,220 cases have been identified in 186 other countries and territories. (YCH-E)