Taiwan has drawn from lessons learned during the SARS epidemic to mount an effective and immediate response to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, using three major steps. According to a report by Mirror Media, Taiwan’s first response to the novel coronavirus came on December 31, when China reported 27 cases of a mysterious Wuhan pneumonia to the WHO.Direct flights from Wuhan became subject to onboard health screening, and passengers had to declare their health status.It wasn’t until January 21 that the island nation reported its first confirmed case. A 55-year-old businesswoman who returned to Taiwan from Wuhan was brought directly to the hospital upon arrival.Taiwan’s second step was made on January 15, when the country’s Centers for Disease Control listed the Wuhan pneumonia as a Category 5 communicable disease.According to Focus Taiwan, this made it mandatory to report suspected cases within 24 hours. Quarantining those who exhibited symptoms also became compulsory.When a man in Kaohsiung neglected to report viral symptoms after returning from Wuhan, the government fined him NT$300,000, or about US$10,000.On January 16, Taiwan’s CDC raised the travel alert for Wuhan, after a Taiwanese expert team sent to the city to observe the epidemic suspected the possibility of human-to-human transmission.As of February 6, Taiwan has 13 confirmed cases of the virus. According to a CDC press release, patients are being treated in isolation wards and are in a stable condition.
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