Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu (right) discusses Taiwan’s strategy for combating coronavirus (COVID-19) with Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business's "Mornings with Maria." (Courtesy of Fox Business)
Taiwan’s strategy for combating coronavirus (COVID-19) relies on a whole of government approach and open communication backed by the lessons learned from dealing with severe acute respiratory syndrome, according to Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu March 24.
The experience managing SARS in 2003 has helped Taiwan when compared with other countries confronting the disease, Wu said. “We were hit very hard, and we learned how to deal with it. The whole government established how to deal with the situation.”
Wu made the remarks during an interview for "Mornings with Maria" on U.S.-based TV network Fox Business.
According to the minister, the government started to take action in late December last year when it learned that there were cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan. Measures included setting up the Central Epidemic Command Center, implementing onboard screening for passengers from the Chinese city and strengthening border checks at airports for all visitors.
Not only was the country’s medical system properly prepared for the epidemic, but a series of policy announcements were rolled out to help industries cope with any economic impact, Wu added.
The minister said a key contributor to the success of the government’s disease-fighting efforts has been keeping the public fully abreast of developments at home and abroad, with health officials offering daily press briefings and updates through social media channels. “I think, overall, this is quite successful."
This is the second time Wu has appeared on an international network discussing how Taiwan is managing the global pandemic, following a March 19 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.