The “Taiwan model” for combating COVID-19 is a roadmap for the world, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen said yesterday at the start of the Coronavirus Hackathon.
Christensen, speaking at the Executive Yuan, where officials were announcing the start of the hackathon — a public event sponsored by the AIT and the government to find ways to fight against the pandemic — said that the “Taiwan model” could be summarized in five Ts: transparency, transportation controls, tracking, testing and technology.
Taiwan has ensured transparency when sharing information about its approach to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus and policies with the public — and the WHO, despite it unfairly excluding the nation, he said.
The nation’s authorities were among the first to begin screening flights, mandating quarantines for people arriving from high-risk areas, organizing safe transportation and monitoring people in quarantine, he added.
The authorities have meticulously tracked individuals who had a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 and enforced a targeted testing protocol based on rigorous contact tracing, Christensen said.
The model has used numerous technologies, such as tracing the movements of a confirmed case — using data from cell phone towers and then broadcasting messages to other mobile phones that were at the same places at that time — and using data analysis when implementing mask rationing, he said.
“Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been more successful than any in the world, according to nearly all available metrics,” and despite its proximity to China, he said.
The hackathon is designed to build on these successes to devise transportation-related innovations to ensure an optimal transition leading up to the listing of travel restrictions, as well as to protect essential workers and people who lack the means to access vital services, he said.
Officials hopes to learn from the hackathon how to use artificial intelligence and big data to develop predictive tools to track the virus much in the same way weather is forecast, providing policymakers and the public the information they need to respond and stay ahead of the curve to prevent COVID-19 from getting out of control, Christensen said.
The hackathon is intended to gather input about how to use these technologies to manage health resources across jurisdictions to ensure that front-line healthcare personnel are properly protected and that people are informed of pandemic risks while maintaining democratic values to hopefully elicit voluntary cooperation with the government’s disease prevention policies, he said.
He hopes that the hackathon would be another example of the fresh thinking that is only found in Taiwan, combining innovative technologies with a commitment to social good, he added.
Taiwan, as a member of the global community, hopes to engage with other nations to research vaccines, provide medical supplies and use technology to fight COVID-19, Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said.
The US is a world leader in pharmaceuticals and vaccine research and development, which coupled with Taiwan’s strengths in universal health insurance, and information and communication technologies, would help the world defeat COVID-19, he said.
The AIT and the Executive Yuan are seeking the public’s responses to questions about COVID-19 starting on May 5.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
Ninth graders were asked to define “trolling” on this year’s standardized exam, reflecting efforts to make the test better reflect real-life situations. Adjustments to this year’s Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students were revealed on Sunday, after the last cohort of students completed the test over the weekend. The Ministry of Education solicited feedback about the test from teachers, who approved of the new question in the English portion. Not only was question No. 20 “very much in line with real-life situations,” but it also used a new style in which students were asked to ascertain the correct dictionary definition based
Taiwan is on alert for monkeypox, a rare viral disease that has caused 87 infections in 11 countries over the past three weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Saturday. The WHO on Friday convened an emergency session to discuss a sudden outbreak of monkeypox in North America and Europe. Since the beginning of this month, 87 confirmed cases and 28 possible cases have been identified in 11 countries. The countries with the highest case counts are England with 29 cases, and Portugal and Spain with 23 each. Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease occurring primarily in the tropical rainforest areas
Three human skeletons and artifacts believed to be about 400 years old were unearthed by construction workers at National Ilan University in Yilan County, the university said yesterday. The discoveries were made on May 10 as workers were digging to expand the College of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science’s facilities, the university said in a statement. The skeletons were found at three sites, along with glass beads, copper bells and rings, discs and a fish-shaped metal knot, it said. The find is likely connected to the “Old Baili Village” (擺厘舊社, Bai Li Jiu She), an as-yet-undiscovered Kavalan settlement that has been mentioned in