A paper published in the latest issue of JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association praises the government’s response measures to COVID-19, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said yesterday.
The paper, authored by C. Jason Wang (王智弘), an associate professor of pediatrics and director of Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention, introduces Taiwan’s response measures to the coronavirus from three aspects: big data analytics, new technology and proactive testing, Chuang told a news conference at the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) in Taipei.
Taiwan was expected to have the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases due to its close proximity to China, the large volume of cross-strait air traffic, the 850,000 Taiwanese residing in China and its 2.71 million Chinese visitors last year, the paper says.
Photo: Wu Liang-yi, Taipei Times
However, Taiwan has been on constant alert and ready to act on epidemics originating from China since the SARS outbreak in 2003, it says.
The paper only includes information up to Feb. 24, when only 30 confirmed cases had been reported in Taiwan, which then had the 10th-highest number of cases among nations affected by the coronavirus, Chuang said.
With 42 confirmed cases as of yesterday, Taiwan is 16th in number of confirmed cases among affected nations, demonstrating that its ranking has fallen amid a number of outbreaks worldwide, he said.
Taiwan was quick to recognize and manage the crisis, implementing border control, case identification, containment and resource allocation measures, as well as frequently communicating with and educating the public while fighting misinformation, the paper says.
The paper introduces the CECC and its actions, including conducting onboard health assessments of passengers on direct flights from Wuhan, China — the epicenter of the epidemic — from as early as Dec. 31 last year and recording people’s travel history in the National Health Insurance system, which has allowed physicians to identify high-risk people.
The CECC has also controlled the allocation and price of masks, used government funds to increase mask production and held daily media briefings to reassure and educate the public, it says.
“Understanding the action items that were implemented quickly in Taiwan and assessing the effectiveness of these actions in preventing a large-scale epidemic may be instructive for other countries,” the paper says.
“Although we still face many challenges ahead as the battle against COVID-19 continues, we are grateful that the academic wrote the paper to allow the world to know the efforts being made in Taiwan,” Chuang said.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
‘CHINESE CAPITAL’: Fanny Liu was found guilty of reducing the rent of a tenant in exchange for a vote for a KMT Taipei city councilor candidate The Taipei District Court on Wednesday sentenced Fanny Liu (劉樂妍), a former member of the now-disbanded female pop group Fantasy 4, to 10 years in prison for vote-buying. The court found Liu — who is now based in China and has made pro-Chinese Communist Party remarks — guilty of reducing the rent on a Taipei property she owned in exchange for the tenant voting for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate in the November 2018 nine-in-one local elections. She can appeal the ruling. Liu in December 2018 reportedly lowered the rent by NT$1,000 after the tenant said they had voted for Taipei City
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease