An important message from Taiwan
When the lockdown was getting tight; just before Passover holiday (Pesacḥ) which is a major holiday for us; i sent a mail to a friend of mine in Taiwan Mrs. Rebbeca Tu, a follower of "Yeshua" ;who belongs to the Israel-
supporting Christian community of Taiwan. I was looking for comforting words; as we the Israeli people felt that the history repeats itself. in the bible the Israelites were under slavery in ancient Egypt for more then 400 years and they escaped; when god inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians
One of the plagues resemble corona virus and the last plague broke king Pharaoh and he released the Israelite slaves "who let my people go". a month ago; our prime minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu praised Taiwan for coping the best; with the epidemic of covid 19 and he stressed that Taiwan is the raw model for his coming actions.
Becca is a sophisticated traveler and a biz owner that is called: dare-Corp; so I knew I could trust Becca to dare and take photos for me and she will give me the most update information.
What happened in Taiwan in the previous epidemics?
ill refer first to SARS (severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), coronavirus epidemic from 2003, that started in China.TW didn’t have sufficient info from the government, nor ample knowledge on epidemic control. Within 42 days after the first SARS case was diagnosed in Taiwan, an outbreak happened in Taipei, which caused a total shutdown of a hospital due to healthcare-associated infection (HAI), and it ended up caused 7 death of healthcare workers in the hospital
This epidemic originates from China; was not aware sooner due to the delay of information to "WHO- World Health Organization". Taiwan was hit quickly and severely because it locates next to China, and people traveled back and forth frequently.
With the consultation of epidemiologists from the "USCDC- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" Taiwan “Ministry of health and welfare” learned to set up a “center of disease control,” and build a protocol of epidemic infection control within any hospital. It was a horrible memory to see doctors, nurses, and sanitation workers in the hospital perished in addition to patients
Which important ideas Taiwan applied?
Due to a research report done by the "HAI- Health Alliance International" explained that the coronavirus; could stay on metal surfaces such as drinking fountain buttons, door handles, hospital beds and many more elements; taught us how to sanitize the total environment.
1.Through our own experience and the study of Hong Kong medical workers, we concluded wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns, goggles and washing hands often are the best Precaution methods against coronavirus
2. In December 2019, the "CDC- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" of Taiwan noticed a novel pneumonia. reported from Wuhan, China. Although the government of China claimed there was no human to human transmission, Taiwan sent two experts to Wuhan in January for investigation and had meetings with local experts. They came back and informed the government to announce this is a new epidemic, and raised travel alert to Wuhan
How fast your government reacted to the new latest virus?
Taiwan was considered reacting fast to the epidemic before it became pandemic, it was because our lesson was learned well from 17 years ago.
Within one week, Taiwan had the first confirmed case, and the government stopped all tourists from Wuhan. By the end of January, the government-imposed a thorough travel investigation on people traveling back from China, Hong Kong and Macau. All these people needed to take self-quarantine or self-isolation for 14 days
The government also announced to hold all N95 and surgical masks as controlled supplies, and no exports are allowed.
At the same time, CDC started daily press conferences to announce the latest disease control policies; Including the solutions to the shortage of supply of masks to the general public; at a reasonable priced
What steps were done to explain and control the epidemic?
1. Daily TV airtime was required to release to the CDC for public health education programs, including how to wear a mask, how to wash hands thoroughly and how to follow self-quarantine correctly without infecting family members.
2. Most of the office buildings, schools, and shopping malls implemented surveillance protocols such as sanitizer sprays (75% alcohol), infrared forehead thermometer, or thermal infrared imager such as those in the airport.
3. Since Taiwan is not a member of WHO, we learned to double-check the official data of China without waiting or relying on the advice of WHO.
4. Taiwanese fully abide by the orders of the government to put on "PPE- Personal protective equipment" and stay self-quarantine/isolation if is required by the government. the standards of personal hygiene and sanitization has been raised to a higher level since the epidemic, and it will become a new normal life.
When almost all Taiwanese wear masks going out, foreigners who live in Taiwan still don't; But the government just release new rules to require all passengers on public transportation to wear masks starting on April 4th 2020. taxi or Uber drivers; may refuse passengers for not wearing masks
What is your latest update-for mid April 2020?
Our schools, offices, shops and restaurants are up and running, however people have been following governmental guidelines; to wear masks when going out, and avoid unnecessary social activities. most of the churches and worship places; are closed to prevent community infection which happened in Seoul-Korea
The optimistic summary is?
I am proud to say that so far; Taiwan has been doing great job in preventing domestic outbreaks. the current policy is to quarantine every Taiwanese; coming back from foreign countries because most of the confirmed cases were infected before arriving to Taiwan. as for April 17 there are 395 confirmed cases and 6 deaths so far.
Tell us about yourself?
I am a trained lawyer, a biz owner and a sophisticated traveler. I have been carrying the mission to share the beauty of Formosa—Taiwan to the world. Since 2018, I was invited to initiate the Taiwan Eagle Project, a chapter of the Global Eagle Project in Israel, to promote the understanding and friendship between young Taiwanese and Israelis through annual mutual visit and community service collaborations.
Future plans in the covid 19 era?
With the plan of growing influence via social media, I am setting up a YouTube channel-”How’s Taiwan” aiming to introduce fun history and culture of Taiwan from foreigners’ perspective.
If you wish to contact Rebecca its possible at rebecca.tu@dare-Corp.com
Explanations of the photos:
1.surveillance set up at the entrance of Taipei 101 shopping mall
2.The famous dumping restaurant and the observatory ticketing has no one waiting in line.
3.Food court has incredible less amount of people than regular weekends
4. My mother-in-law lined up every week for us to purchase masks and sanitizing alcohol that was short of supply; so people lined up at the convenient stores or supermarkets
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