12 votes

Why Taiwan has just 42 coronavirus cases while neighbors report hundreds or thousands

3 comments

  1. [2]
    grahamiam
    Link
    Recent transplant from the US to Taipei, AMA! A few notes - I was a cynic about the masks and hand sanitizer considering the empirical evidence is lacking, but how can I argue with the results?...

    Recent transplant from the US to Taipei, AMA!

    A few notes - I was a cynic about the masks and hand sanitizer considering the empirical evidence is lacking, but how can I argue with the results? Even if it wasn't due to those things, the heightened awareness their omnipresence brings probably helps. It's also harder to touch your face/nose a lot while wearing a mask. The peer pressure factor is pretty huge. There is no rule that you have to wear a mask, but I'd say right now it's about 75% of the people on the street and 95% of people on the subway wear one (before corona it was probably ~30-40% for both). If you cough or sneeze on the subway everyone turns and looks, and if you do so without a mask on you get some seriously annoyed looks. Wearing a mask constantly fogs my glasses. People (or, at least, men) are much more serious about using alcohol sanitizer than about washing their hands leaving a bathroom. There are some absurdities, like people pulling down a medical mask to smoke a cigarette, or a school requiring masks all the time then during lunch packing kids and staff close together while everyone removes their masks to eat.

    It's been kind of fascinating. I haven't really felt any worry at all, but I have no foreseeable travel plans and am not an at-risk demographic of the virus being difficult for me.

    7 votes
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      No question for you, but since you mentioned being new to the area, if you happen to be looking for good places to eat in Taiwan/Taipei, Mike Chen from Strictly Dumpling has been there a few times...

      No question for you, but since you mentioned being new to the area, if you happen to be looking for good places to eat in Taiwan/Taipei, Mike Chen from Strictly Dumpling has been there a few times and done some food reviews that you might find interesting: Taiwan videos playlist

      2 votes
  2. skybrian
    Link
    From the article: [...] [...] [...]

    From the article:

    Now almost every public building in Taipei offers hand sanitizer and a lot of them, such as schools, require that anyone entering submit to a fever check. Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control announces any new cases every day. In February it began rationing facemask purchases to head off panic buying.

    [...]

    The government [of Taiwan] first took notice of the virus in December as people in China began talking about it informally. In response, the Centers for Disease Control started onboard quarantine of all direct flights from Wuhan on December 31. The centers said on its website that by January 9 it had “inspected” 14 flights with 1,317 passengers and attendants.

    The disease caught the attention of other countries in late January. Although numbers of new cases are dropping in China, Japan and South Korea are grappling with recent outbreaks.

    [...]

    Taiwan moved fast because of its experience 17 years ago with SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. That disease originated in China and jumped into other parts of Asia. It killed 73 people in Taiwan.

    Officials are looking for ways now to minimize economic impacts of the virus.

    [...]

    Action against the coronavirus to date has boosted President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval rating to 68.5% in February up from 56.7% in January and on par with what she polled right after taking office in 2016, a Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation poll showed February 24. Local television network TVBS gave the government an 82% approval rating for its handling of the outbreak.

    4 votes