Taiwan model against COVID-19 – ‘No one is safe, until everyone is’

Taiwan’s government has pledged to donate a further six million surgical masks for use as personal protective equipment by frontline medical personnel combating coronavirus in America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Picture: https://devpolicy.org/

While Fiji was moving on the path of preparedness for border reopening and quarantine-free travel bubbles with Australia and New Zealand, with no transmission cases for a year, the Indian B1.617 variant suddenly attacked the borders and force lockdowns across the Viti Levu last month.

Lautoka, Nadi, Suva, Nausori and Lami were established as containment areas. People living on Viti Levu again became the victims of the second wave of the variant.

Fiji is not alone in the repeating model of global infectious map. Numerous countries such as India, Brazil and South Africa have been suffering the second, the third or even the forth waves of pandemic.

The threat of emerging infectious COVID-19 to global health, economy, trade, and tourism never cease.

We applause the Ministry of Health and frontline workers rapidly response to trace down, confine and stop virus spreading.

This battle may not end soon, but Fiji has shown the world that transparency, accountability and prompt reactions by government and the hygienic awareness of civil society are the most effective measures to fight the battle of COIVD-19.

Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping

With the first outbreak of COVID-19 severely impacting most unprepared countries last year, Taiwan had promptly donated medical supplies such as infrared thermal imaging cameras, surgical masks, forehead thermometers, ventilators, N95 masks, personal protective gowns, PCR test machines to countries in need across the globe, countries in North America, Latin and Caribbean America, Europe, Africa, Asian and Pacific Islands including Fiji. We are grateful to donate $US1 million ($F2.03m) to work with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on the most important and timely “Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19(PHP-C) Project” to deliver very critical equipment and personnel to the Forum countries to respond to the pandemic. Taiwan’s donation of 150 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders to support India’s fight against the raging second wave of COVID-19 arrived in New Delhi. More medical supplies will continue to be sent to India and Fiji. With building-up capacity and experience, Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping.

‘No one is safe, until everyone is’

Viruses know no borders. Inclusive collaboration is the key to successfully containing the pandemic. Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been one of the most successful in the world. Backed by its robust health system, Taiwan has efficiently deployed high-tech tools in its pandemic response while taking steps to protect personal data privacy. By sharing its experiences of preparedness and response to the partner countries, history has yet proven again Taiwan plays an indispensable role in the global surveillance and alarm systems against emerging infectious disease threats, and that the Taiwan Model is capable of achieving sustained control of the pandemic. As Taiwan Health Minister Dr Chen indicated, “being able to comprehensively participate in and contribute to international COVID-19 supply chain systems, as well as global diagnostics, vaccine, and therapeutics platforms, would allow Taiwan to work with the rest of the world”. We are fighting the pandemic together because “no one is safe, until everyone is”.

Building a resilient and inclusive global health system together

We appreciate the growing support for Taiwan’s inclusion from the international community, and recognition of Taiwan’s successful contribution against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foreign Ministers from the G7 group unanimously expressed support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in World Health Organization (WHO) forum and the World Health Assembly (WHA) in the communique released on May 5. On the following date, the French Senate historically adopted a resolution to support Taiwan’s participation in WHO, with overwhelming vote of 304-0 and 19 abstentions. As Taiwan Health Minister Dr Shih-chung Chen’s article Building a resilient and inclusive global health system together- Taiwan can help, we urge WHO and related parties to join the like-minded countries to acknowledge Taiwan’s longstanding contributions to the international
community in the areas of public health, disease prevention, and the human right to health, and to include Taiwan in WHO and its meetings, mechanisms, and activities. Echoing the mantra of the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, no one should be left behind.

  • Jessica Lee is the representative of the Taipei Trade Office. The views expressed are the author’s and do not reflect the views of this newspaper.

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