UK press praises Taiwan’s handling of COVID-19 and donation of face masks

UK press praises Taiwan’s handling of COVID-19 and donation of face masks

(Original sources: The Financial Times, Daily Mail, Times, Guardian)

 

In April, many UK media outlets, including The Financial Times, Daily Mail, Times and Guardian, highlighted Taiwan’s effective approach to tackling coronavirus as well as its donation of 10 million face masks to countries hit hard by the outbreak. On 1 April, an article in The Financial Times titled “Taiwan to donate 10m masks to Europe and US” pointed out that seven million of the masks would go to the EU member countries as well as the UK and Switzerland, a pledge more than three times the amount China promised the EU. In addition to Taiwan’s donation of face masks, the article cited the Academia Sinica’s videoconference with officials from EU institutions to co-operate on development of a rapid diagnostic test and a vaccine, the signing of the Taiwan-US Joint Statement on a Partnership against Coronavirus on 18 March as well as Taiwan and Australia’s agreement to exchange materials to help fight the pandemic. The article also drew attention to Taiwan’s early and swift measures to combat the virus, such as banning exports and rationing domestic sales of medical masks, offering incentives and procurement guarantees for manufacturers of the equipment and ramping up new mask production capacity. On 4 April, a piece in The Daily Mail titled “China was once the cradle of the coronavirus pandemic but it has bounced back with astonishing speed” stressed that Taiwan has conquered the coronavirus far more efficiently and humanely than the communist authorities on the mainland and gives real aid to other countries struggling with the pandemic. The article called for promoting contacts with Taiwan and those who stand up against bullying inside China.

 

On 5 April, an article in The Times titled “We bowed to Beijing but Taipei had the answer to the coronavirus” highlighted Taiwan as an example to be followed in handling the pandemic. The piece pointed out Taiwan’s early and immediate measures in response to the outbreak, such as screening passengers arriving from Wuhan from 31 December as well as implementing an emergency response plan which involved testing, contact-tracing and isolation of actual and possible cases. On 12 April, an article in The Guardian titled “Covid-19: how world leaders responded to the crisis” emphasised that Taiwan’s death toll remained low and its economy and schools continue to function largely as normal. The article lauded the government’s strategy in tackling the coronavirus, helped by the lessons learned during the SARS crisis in 2003 and supported by Vice President and former epidemiologist Chen Chien-jen, as “extremely proactive.”