It stopped him from the beginning! Taiwan On January 25, as the world began to become aware of the potential danger of the rapidly spreading disease from China, two countries registered four new infections in their territories.
Australia and Taiwan, with a similar population of 24 million, are both islands, and both hold strong trade and transport links with China. Ten weeks after that date, Australia recorded nearly 5,000 confirmed cases, Taiwan less than 400. The issue is not where Australia went wrong, CNN says, because 20 countries around the world have more cases than that, but how Taiwan did so well under virus control.
During the 2003 SARS outbreak, it became one of the most affected countries at the time. Over 150,000 people entered quarantine and 181 died. SARS now looks pale today compared to COVID 19, but Taiwan had already learned a lesson from that disaster. As soon as the news of the new coronavirus in Wuhan came out, the officials of the national health command center moved quickly to respond to the danger.
While other countries were still debating whether or not to take action, the island’s authorities immediately banned travel from many parts of China, blocked the entry of ships from there, and began mass production of masks. Extensive testing also began, including retesting people who had previously had unexplained pneumonia.
From the government, there was a quick and transparent response to the crisis. At the end of March, the country had 46,000 people in quarantine or self-isolation, but although social distancing is advised, the blockade there has not been as severe as in other states. Despite this, Taiwan today recorded only 5 deaths from coronavirus.
CNN points out that as a territory claimed by China, Taiwan is not a member of the WHO, and this may have prompted it to act on its own and make decisions more quickly and independently of its guidelines.