TAIPEI, Taiwan—It's been roughly three months since the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
It has now spread to more than 140 countries and territories around the world, killing thousands outside China.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party's coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
Despite Taiwan’s proximity to mainland China—just 80 miles away—it has managed to control the outbreak with a relatively low 100 confirmed cases and one death as of March 18.
Community spread has not occurred among Taiwan’s population. Thus, life on the island is largely uninterrupted—without the widespread restrictions currently adopted in the United States and Europe.
Local lawmaker Chao Tien-lin, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said the island’s successful containment efforts demonstrate that countries need not adopt draconian measures such as those in authoritarian nations.
“We can share with other countries how the outbreak can be contained under a democratic system,” Chao said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has made it difficult for Taiwan to do so, as it has refused to grant Taiwan membership, or invite Taiwanese health experts to recent health meetings related to the pandemic held by the WHO Emergency Committee.
As the Chinese regime claims Taiwan as part of its territory, it has asserted that Beijing can sufficiently represent the island in international organizations. Since 2017, Taiwan has been barred by China from taking part in WHO-related meetings.
Taiwan’s Response“When it comes to fighting enemies, we must anticipate the worst and prepare for the worst,” said Chao, using a Chinese idiom to explain Taiwan’s approach to limiting the virus's spread.
He added: “Whether it is border control, regulations on people’s movements, or the control of equipment and supplies, I think we are way ahead compared to other countries.”
On Jan. 25, Taiwan suspended all group tours to China and on Feb. 6 the island banned entry to all mainland Chinese visitors.
These early actions lowered the possibility of the virus spreading in local communities, Chao said.
Wu Ming-tsang, distinguished professor at the public health department of Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Medical University, explained that another key factor in Taiwan's success fending off the virus was how the government was able to build up public trust.
WHOMeanwhile, the WHO may have neglected early warnings from Taiwan about the virus.
Beijing did not openly acknowledge the virus was being transmitted between people until Jan. 20.
Asked about the VP’s warning, WHO’s spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic did not admit to or deny it.
Jasarevic said in an email response to The Epoch Times that the WHO was informed of a "pneumonia of unknown cause” in Wuhan on Dec. 31, and since then it has “regarded the event as very serious and applied the full range of attention to it from across the organization.”
Lawmaker Chao accused the WHO of “making erroneous judgments and decisions” by considering the outbreak in political terms, wary of upsetting the Chinese regime.
The poor judgment led to the virus spreading from China and nearby Asian countries to the rest of the world, Chao added.
It added that the risk is in fact “very high in China, high in the region, and high globally.”
Professor Wu similarly said that the WHO has failed to recognize the virus is an “enemy to all people.”
“It seems that the WHO has dealt with the [outbreak] as if it were a political event. But the virus does not distinguish your political affiliations,” said Wu.
Future CoordinationTaiwan’s containment measures have garnered international recognition.
Also on Wednesday, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said the new partnership with the United States will include Taiwan exporting 100,000 protective masks every week, once the island has enough supply for itself.
In the immediate future, Wu urged other countries to take on a strategy based on the “precautionary principle.” For instance, he called on hospitals to set up temporary tents outside of their buildings to check suspected patients, in an effort to prevent patients with the virus from roaming around inside hospitals and infecting those particularly vulnerable to the virus—the elderly and people with underlying illnesses.
Wu also called on people to drop the social stigma surrounding protective masks, since it is an effective way to limit the spread of the virus. Keeping a distance from others and avoiding direct personal contact are also effective measures, Wu added.
In May, the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the WHO, will hold its 73rd assembly.
Taiwan’s participation is important to the global effort in containing the outbreak, Chao said. The WHA has not yet invited the island state.
Taiwan could still hold meetings on the sidelines of the WHA if it is not invited, said Chao.
“Coming to participate in meetings organized by Taiwan, who is not accepted by the WHO, can be more helpful than taking part in other [WHO] meetings,” Chao concluded.