Taiwan vice president shares coronavirus response on BBC

Chen Chien-jen reaffirms Taiwan’s stance on helping global community in coronavirus battle

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Vice President Chen Chien-jen interviewed by BBC. (BBC website screenshot)

Vice President Chen Chien-jen interviewed by BBC. (BBC website screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) on Wednesday (April 8) was interviewed by BBC World News to share the tactics Taiwan has employed to contain the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

As countries around the world continue to be severely affected by the pandemic, Taiwan has been able to keep its confirmed cases at a relatively low level. Governments, distinguished research universities, and scholars from the U.S., Japan, New Zealand, and the U.K. have all reached out to the Taiwanese government for advice.

On the BBC program "Newsday," Chen started off by wishing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a speedy recovery, as the latter was moved into intensive care Tuesday (April 7) due to his worsening COVID-19 symptoms. Chen added that hopefully, Taiwan's experience can serve as an example to the world on how to mitigate the outbreak.

Chen attributed Taiwan's quick coronavirus response to lessons learned from the 2003 SARS pandemic, which helped it realize the importance of establishing a cross-sector command that could centralize information-gathering and decision-making. He stressed that the country's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) had done a good job of keeping information transparent so the public would not panic, reported CNA.

When asked about Taiwan's plan to assist the global community, Chen reaffirmed that the island nation refused to be a bystander. He said the government had donated millions of surgical masks and medical equipment to hard-hit countries and that it would continue to do so in the coming months.

The vice president pointed out that Taiwanese health experts have been working closely with their American counterparts on developing more rapid diagnostic test kits as well as vaccines for the coronavirus. He also expressed a desire for Taiwan to conduct research with the U.K., reported ETtoday.

As of Wednesday, the U.K. has confirmed 55,242 cases of COVID-19, including 6,159 deaths. On Tuesday, the nation recorded its highest one-day number of coronavirus deaths at 854.


Chen Chien-jen shares Taiwan's experiences on BBC. (Presidential office photo)