UC Berkeley dean discusses campus virus prevention in Taiwan

NTU, UC Berkeley to cooperate on coronavirus prevention

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UCB School of Public Health Dean Michael Lu (right) 

UCB School of Public Health Dean Michael Lu (right)  (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the University of California-Berkeley faces the return of its students, its School of Public Health Dean Michael Lu (呂淳祺) has been visiting Taiwan, where he praised the country’s approach to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and explained how his campus is going to prevent infections.

Lu addressed a seminar on the virus Tuesday (July 14) organized by National Taiwan University’s (NTU) College of Public Health. He told his audience that he was proud to be a Taiwanese-American, as the island nation’s tackling of the pandemic has won widespread acclaim in the United States.

Students returning to campus in Berkeley would face financially affordable saliva testing and time-saving pooled testing and point-of-care testing, Lu said. Big Data and artificial intelligence would also be mobilized to understand the movements of students, while environmental testing of water and air would serve to prevent the transmission of the virus.

Chen Hsiu-hsi (陳秀熙), the vice dean of the College of Public Health at NTU, explained the use of apps in Taiwan’s tracing of suspected cases. Different levels of privacy concerns have led to varying versions of such apps being used in different countries, he explained, adding that the efficiency of the system has allowed the quarantine of incoming travelers to be shorter and more precisely targeted.

College Dean Chan Chang-chuan (詹長權) told the seminar that his NTU department’s Public Health Research Center would cooperate with Berkeley to find even more effective methods of countering virus pandemics.