Representative Lin highlights success of Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 in letter to The Economist

Representative Lin highlights success of Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 in letter to The Economist

(Original source: The Economist)

 

On 26 March, Representative Lin highlighted the success of Taiwan’s approach to the coronavirus outbreak in a letter to the editor of The Economist which was published under the title “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19”. Representative Lin pointed out that although countries are struggling to cope with the virus, China’s approach is not the only way to suppress its spread. He highlighted that Taiwan has relatively few cases of the disease. “Learning the harsh lessons from the SARS crisis in 2003, the government of Taiwan acted swiftly and established a command centre in order to respond to the outbreak,” Representative Lin said, citing Taiwan’s health minister holding press conferences almost everyday, conducting tests on travellers from Wuhan in December and applying technology using big-data analysis to intensive health monitoring.

 

Representative Lin stressed that despite exclusion from the World Health Organization (WHO) due to pressure from China, Taiwan sent an early warning to the international health body about the risk of transmission of the coronavirus between humans at the end of December. “However, the warning was not shared with other countries by the WHO because of its relationship with China,” he added. Representative Lin pointed out that the error ultimately delayed the global response to the pandemic. “The politics of pandemics, which exists inside the WHO as well as between states should be unacceptable to any country that cares about public health,” he stated. Representative Lin stressed that the Chinese propaganda machine is trying to convince the world that its draconian response to the coronavirus is the only way to combat its spread; other countries are following its lead. “Taiwan proves that democracies can successfully fight the virus without an authoritarian response,” he said, adding that given the nature of China’s autocratic system, Taiwan should serve as a better democratic model for managing pandemics.