Taiwan’s approach

When the World Health Organization reported on December 31, 2019, a case of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, Taiwan took immediate action. It could benefit from the public health response system put in place in the aftermath of the SARS-epidemic of 2003. The approach consisted of an effective use of data analysis and technology to monitor travel history and health symptoms of individuals. In this way, people at risk could be quickly identified. In addition, patients with unexplained respiratory complaints were proactively traced and retested.

The swift response and the approach adopted have enabled Taiwan to prevent a large-scale epidemic, and could serve as a reference for other countries. The authors have included a list of more than 100 actions taken by the government in the period up to February 24, 2020.

C. Jason Wang et al., Response to COVID-19 in Taiwan. Big Data Analytics, New Technology and Proactive Testing, JAMA. 2020;323(14):1341-1342. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3151. Published Online: March 3, 2020