A victim of its own success: how Taiwan failed to plan for a major Covid outbreak
Once a poster child for blocking coronavirus, Taiwan failed to fully prepare a pandemic response or vaccination rollout
While most of the world suffered through hundreds of millions of cases and millions of deaths from Covid-19, the 23.5 million people in Taiwan largely lived a normal life, thanks to a well-documented strong and early response that saw it go 250 days without a single local case. It lobbied for inclusion in the World Health Organization’s decision-making body off the back of its undeniable success and expertise under the slogan “Taiwan can help”.
But now the tables have turned and the island itself is in need of assistance, after an outbreak that started among airline staff in April spread across the island. The government appears to have been caught short by something it thought would never happen: the poster child for outbreak prevention had apparently failed to fully prepare an outbreak response.