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【NEWS】2021/01/31 Prof. Vincent Rollet talks about Taiwan’s success in addressing Covid-19 on French Radio (France Info)

發布日期 2021-02-01 10:14:00

To listen the interview (in French), here :  https://www.francetvinfo.fr/replay-radio/francais-du-monde/francais-du-monde-covid-19-taiwan-l-eleve-modele_4260693.html 


This is the transcript in English of the interview:

Covid-19: Taiwan, the model student

The southern island of Taiwan has nothing less than the lowest number of Covid-19 cases in the world! This is because the authorities, enlightened by the SARS experience, reacted at the first signs of the pandemic, as this French researcher from Taiwan testifies.

Restaurants, sports halls, concert halls or theatres open every evening. No curfew or lockdown. In the streets of Taiwan, it's a bit like life before the epidemic. The only difference: wearing a mask is compulsory, and since December 1st, in all public places, but neither in the street nor in restaurants.

Everyone willingly complies with these rules

"If you don't respect this, there is a fine of 500 euros," says Vincent Rollet, a French researcher at Wenzao university in the South of the country. People follow this rule to the letter, and very often there is a person there to remind you in a very polite way to wear the mask". 

Strike fast and strike hard

Here, the government has locked the island's borders, both by plane and by boat, since the first signs of Covid-19 at the beginning of last year:
"Taiwan began closing its doors to non-residents soon after the pandemic emerged in late January, the day after Beijing decided to confine the population to Wuhan. Since then, the Taiwanese authorities have been tightly controlling the borders" explains Vincent Rollet.

Good management of masks, targeted fourteen, involvement of civil society, no generalised containment or curfew: a winning strategy since Taiwan has announced 800 cases, almost all imported, since the beginning of the epidemic and seven deaths for a population of 23 million inhabitants. Because the measures here are not subject to debate: according to polls, 70 to 75% of the population are satisfied with the government's response.

An insolent growth

Like much of Asia, the island also benefited from the experience of SARS in 2003:
"The authorities have strengthened their anti-epidemic capacities and their network for monitoring and surveillance of infectious diseases. The population was in a way prepared for the possibility of a new epidemic" says Vincent Rollet.

Since 1 January, non-residents are no longer allowed to enter the country. The few foreigners who still have access to Taiwan, particularly humanitarian aid workers, have to submit to a strict fourteen entry checks at home, in an isolated room, or in a hotel, without being able to leave, geolocated at any time, thanks to the temporary SIM card they are given on arrival for their mobile phone.

A diplomatic victory over China

It must be said that for Taiwan, China's sworn enemy, because it is considered by Beijing as a rebellious province, called to return to its fold, to succeed in containing Covid-19 is also a diplomatic victory, explains Vincent Rollet: 

"Since the 1970s and China's entry into the WHO, Taiwan has been totally excluded until today, which means that it would be just the right time for the WHO to recognise the urgency and importance for global health of welcoming Taiwan as a member of this institution". 

As a result of the lack of containment, the country's economy has not experienced a recession and the GDP for 2020 shows an insolent growth of 2.5%. Consumption has notably been encouraged by vouchers issued by the government and distributed to the entire population to be spent in local shops.

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/replay-radio/francais-du-monde/francais-du-monde-covid-19-taiwan-l-eleve-modele_4260693.html