Taiwan fights coronavirus effectively without sacrificing freedoms: Italian media

It does not take an authoritarian regime to curb the spread of Wuhan virus

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The Colosseum in Rome reflected in a puddle where a face mask was left.

The Colosseum in Rome reflected in a puddle where a face mask was left. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has become a role model in countering the deadly coronavirus, with Italian media becoming the latest to urge their government to learn from the island country.

Le Formiche featured an articled penned by Stefano Pelaggi, an adjunct sociology professor at Sapienza University of Rome, who rebutted the claim that only authoritarian regimes have the capability to rein in the coronavirus (COVID-19). The robust young democracy of Taiwan has proven otherwise, having managed to control the epidemic without imposing restrictions on freedoms enjoyed by citizens, he said.

Pelaggi wrote that Taiwan has tapped into the experience it learned from the 2003 SARS epidemic by establishing effective response mechanisms to the new health scare. He commended the government’s decision to use big data analysis and advanced technologies to curb the spread of the disease, citing 124 measures since mid-January.

He also questioned the Italian government’s decision to ban flights from Taiwan and implement forced quarantine for visitors from Taiwan, calling such measures have serious implications for bilateral relationship, wrote CNA.

Italian newspaper Affari Italiani also lauded Taiwan’s relatively low infection rates compared to neighboring countries, even though Taiwan has close ties with China, the epicenter of the disease. The media outlet believes a fast response is key to successful containment, encompassing measures such as strict border controls, flight inspections, body temperature checks at ports of entry, a transparent and real-time report system, and a travel tracking system supported by the country’s IT prowess.

Italy has reported 10,149 coronavirus cases and 631 deaths as of Wednesday (March 11), according to Worldometers, making it the worst-hit country other than China.