Taiwan today recorded its 200th day without a single domestic transmission of the coronavirus – the first nation in the world to reach the 200 mark.
The nation’s main agency fronting the fight against COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control in central Taipei has not recorded a case since mid-April.
There are doubts in Taiwan as to whether or not the nation really is COVID-free, however, with increasing numbers of people departing the island and being tested elsewhere with tests coming back as positive.
Japan and Thailand have seen a number of such cases in recent months, although the official numbers in Taiwan proper remain at 553 recorded infections with seven deaths.
The vast majority of those recorded as infected have been cases in which arrivals from overseas – Taiwanese nationals and foreigners – have proven positive upon arrival.
Since the summer many overseas Taiwanese have fled nations as far away as the UK, and in particular the U.S., returning to stay with distant family members to ride out the pandemic.
Early de-facto nationalisation of mask production lines followed by rationing and bans on exports coupled to nationwide campaigns to promote hand washing proved highly effective, as did a ban on arrivals from certain high risk areas.
As early as the spring, authorities in Taiwan were also looking at measures to limit most entry and exit points to the country – with Taiwan one of the first nations to effectively ‘lock down’ to guarantee the safety of its population.
Fourteen day quarantine periods were in place soon after for any and all arrivals regardless of point of origin or nationality, and as a result, life in Taiwan as a whole has continued as it was before the pandemic struck.
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Here’s to the next 200!