TAIPEI（Taiwan News）— Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) lauded Taiwan's success in its battle against COVID-19 and called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to let Taiwan join in a recent article in The Diplomat.
Chen’s article "Whether Fighting COVID-19 or the Next Pandemic, Taiwan Can Help," published on Thursday (May 4), pointed out that Taiwan’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been one of the world’s greatest success stories and stressed that the nation cannot remain outside of the global health network.
The CECC head said that early and effective public health control measures mitigated the economic impact of the pandemic in Taiwan, as 2020 witnessed a roughly 3.11 percent GDP growth, while the global economy was suffering from a recession.
Chen also mentioned that due to its experience with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, Taiwan took early reports of the coronavirus disease seriously. Despite being so geographically close to China, Taiwan currently only has 1,145 confirmed cases and 12 deaths. This has allowed the public to continue living and working normally.
The CECC head also praised the efficacy of the “Taiwan model.” The nation's healthcare system, rigorous testing, transparent approach, and cooperation between public and private sectors all helped stave off the disease, he added.
Chen said that as a member of the global village, Taiwan will do its utmost to collaborate with the WHO and international leaders. He emphasized the fact that Taiwan plays an "indispensable role" in the global monitoring and early warning systems that detect the threat of emerging infectious diseases.
Chen urged the WHO and relevant agencies to acknowledge Taiwan’s contribution to the world and support the nation's inclusion in WHO meetings and related events. “No one should be left behind,” he said, referring to the UN's sustainable development goals.
Taiwan has not yet received an invitation to attend the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) on May 24 in Geneva, Switzerland. Due to the pressure from China, the nation has been excluded since 2017 after being an observer for eight years. Taiwan continues to launch campaigns to regain its observer status in the WHO and the WHA.