The Economist features Taiwan scholar’s Wuhan virus graphic

This shows Taiwan has expertise required to contribute to global health, exclusion from WHO is wrong

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Hsu Cheng-chih Facebook screenshot

Hsu Cheng-chih Facebook screenshot

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A graphic designed by a Taiwanese chemist to illustrate case predictions of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak was featured in an article from The Economist on Wednesday (Feb. 12).

Hsu Cheng-chih (徐丞志), a chemistry professor at the prestigious National Taiwan University (NTU), created a dynamic model on Jan. 30 that illustrates various scenarios for estimating the spread of the virus. The model has been adapted by The Economist as a daily chart, in an article titled “A ray of hope in the coronavirus curve.”

It’s a privilege for the work to be featured in the reputable English weekly magazine-format newspaper, Hsu said in a Facebook post, hoping it would help contribute to an increased international profile for NTU. He also lauded the newspaper for the meticulous arrangement of materials used in its news coverage.

The scholar told UDN the model was not rocket science but rather knowledge proposed a century ago. He added this would show the importance of fundamental science, as well as letting the world know that Taiwan can contribute to global public health and should not be excluded from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Nevertheless, the model was rendered invalid soon after publishing as China adopted a new method of counting confirmed cases. Instead of tallying those who have been “confirmed” via nucleic acid tests, the authorities in China have decided to count patients who have developed pneumonia and related symptoms, from clinical diagnosis. The relaxed criteria allow for earlier treatment of infected patients, Hsu said.

Coronavirus case prediction model designed by Hsu Cheng-chih. (Facebook image)