IASbhai Editorial Hunt
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EDITORIAL 64:“Taiwan’s coronavirus protocol shows how it is done“
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL/EDITORIALS FOR UPSC CSE MAINS 2020
Dr. Chen Shih-chung is Minister of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
Taiwan’s coronavirus protocol shows how it is done
If WHO’s mission is to ensure the highest level of health for all, then no country should be excluded from this goal
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Diseases : Health
Despite its proximity to China, Taiwan ranked 123 among 183 countries in terms of confirmed cases per million people. Comment on aggressive efforts of Taiwan in controlling the epidemic .-(GS 3)
In this article you will learn about Taiwan’s aggressive efforts to control the epidemic and
- Governance model of Taiwan
- WHO vs Taiwan .
- Pandemics can spread rapidly around the world because of the ease of international transportation.
AMONG THE MOST SALIENT EXAMPLES ARE THE:
- “Spanish flu of 1918, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003, and the
- H1N1 influenza of 2009.
- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012,
- Ebola in West Africa in 2014, and the
- Zika virus in Central and South America in 2015-16, have also reared their heads.
Today, a novel form of pneumonia that first emerged in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019 and has since been classified as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a global pandemic.
- READINESS : In the 17 years since it was hit hard by the SARS outbreak, Taiwan has been in a state of constant readiness to the threat of emerging infectious disease.
EARLY PREPARATIONS :
Taiwan began implementing onboard quarantine of direct flights from Wuhan that same day.
- RESPONSE TEAM : On January 2, 2020, Taiwan established a response team for the disease and activated the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on January 20 as a level 3 government entity, upgrading it to level 2 and level 1 on January 23 and February 27, respectively.
- RESOURCE INTEGRATION : The CECC is able to effectively integrate resources from various ministries and invest itself fully in the containment of the epidemic.
- SCREENING MEASURES : Taiwan has implemented dynamic plans concerning border quarantine measures, including onboard quarantine, fever screening, health declarations, and a 14-day home quarantine for passengers arriving from nations it has listed under the Level 3 Warning.
- ELECTRONIC SYSTEM ENQUIRY : Moreover, Taiwan has established an electronic system for entry quarantine, which allows passengers with a local mobile phone number to fill in health information using a mobile phone.
- PASSES : A health declaration pass will then be sent to them as a text message.
- MANAGEMENTS SERVICES : This is connected to the community care support management system, which allows government agencies to provide care services and medical assistance.
- DATA COLLECTION : The travel history of individuals is now stored on the National Health Insurance (NHI) card to alert physicians to possible cases and prevent community transmission.
- TRACKING : For those undergoing home quarantine or isolation, the government is working with telecom operators to allow GPS tracking of their locations.
- FINES : Quarantine offenders are subject to fines or mandatory placement according to relevant laws and regulations, so as to prevent transmission.
- TESTING FACILITIES : Taiwan has also increased its laboratory testing capacity, expanded the scope of its surveillance and inspections based on trends of the COVID-19 epidemic.
- HOSPITAL TIER SYSTEM : Meanwhile, it has designated 50 regional hospitals and medical centres and 167 community hospitals and clinics to create a tiered system for testing.
- SPECIAL WARDS : These hospitals and clinics are required to set up special wards or areas; in principle, COVID-19 patients are isolated and treated individually in these wards and areas to prevent nosocomial infections.
MASK AVALAIBLITY :
- On February 6, Taiwan launched a name-based rationing system for mask purchases at NHI-contracted pharmacies and local public health agencies.
- This allows people to order online and pick up masks at convenience stores.
GLOBAL LINKING AND BEYOND
- INDIVIDUAL EFFORT : Global health security requires the efforts of every person to ensure an optimal response to public health threats and challenges.
- MEMBERSHIP : Taiwan, though not a member of WHO, cannot stand alone and must be included in the fight against such threats and challenges.
STANDALONE EFFORTS :
- Taiwan has fulfilled its responsibilities as a global citizen and abided by the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR 2005) in notifying WHO of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- Taiwan has uploaded the genetic sequence of COVID-19 to the GISAID Initiative, or the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID).
- Yet, Taiwan has long been excluded from WHO due to political considerations.
- We hope that after this pandemic abates, WHO will truly understand that infectious diseases know no borders, and that no country should be excluded, lest it become a major gap in global health security.
- WHO should not neglect the contribution to global health security of any nation.
Taiwan will continue to work with the rest of the world to ensure that all enjoy the fundamental human right to health, as stipulated in the WHO Constitution.
Echoing the mantra of the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals,
“NO ONE SHOULD BE LEFT BEHIND”.