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Taiwan's response shows that swift action and widespread healthcare can prevent an outbreak


Only 81 miles from mainland China, the island state of Taiwan and its nearly 24 million residents faced a dire threat as the novel coronavirus broke out in Wuhan, China, late last year.

But instead of fueling pandemonium, the country has taken control of the situation. Taiwan has only 77 confirmed cases and a single death from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and nearly 30% of infected people have recovered. China, by comparison, has about 81,000 confirmed cases.

China is one of the largest countries by population, with 1.4 billion people to Taiwan's nearly 24 million. Still, China's per-capita case rate is more than 25 times Taiwan's.

In its fight against a countrywide epidemic, the government in Taipei has implemented 124 safety protocols, a testament to its quick, vast, and well-considered policy measures.

"The policies and actions go beyond border control," Jason Wang, a Stanford University pediatrics professor and policy-analysis expert, told Stanford Health Policy earlier this month, "because they recognized that that wasn't enough."

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