Pandemics can spread rapidly around the world because of the ease of international transportation.
Among the most salient examples are the Spanish flu of 1918, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003, and the H1N1 influenza of 2009.
- When information concerning a novel pneumonia outbreak was first confirmed on December 31, 2019, Taiwan began implementing onboard quarantine of direct flights from Wuhan that same day.
- Taiwan also established a response team for the disease quickly and activated the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
- The CECC is able to effectively integrate resources from various ministries and invest itself fully in the containment of the epidemic.
- Data shows Taiwan’s aggressive efforts to control the epidemic are working.
- Taiwan, though not a member of WHO, cannot stand alone and must be included in the fight against such threats and challenges.
- Taiwan has long been excluded from WHO due to political considerations.
Taiwan is Harnessing technology
- Disease knows no borders. In response to the threat of the COVID-19 epidemic, Taiwan has implemented dynamic plans concerning border quarantine measures, including onboard quarantine, fever screening, health declarations, and a 14-day home quarantine for passengers arriving from nations it has listed under the Level 3 Warning.
- Taiwan has established an electronic system for entry quarantine, which allows passengers with a local mobile phone number to fill in health information using a mobile phone, and this app helps government agencies to provide care services and medical assistance.
- Taiwan has also increased its laboratory testing capacity, expanded the scope of its surveillance and inspections based on trends of the COVID-19 epidemic.
- Taiwan has uploaded the genetic sequence of COVID-19 to the GISAID Initiative, or the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID).
Global linking and beyond
- A crisis anywhere readily becomes a problem everywhere.
- Global health security requires the efforts of every person to ensure an optimal response to public health threats and challenges.