Excluded from WHO, Taiwan successfully tackles COVID-19

Taiwan prepares massive production of health masks to meet the rapidly increasing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Taiwan’s Presidential Office)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic does not appear to be ending anytime soon with a confirmed number so far reaching 2.5 million people and more than 177 thousand deaths.

However, there is a success story in the handling of the pandemic shown by Taiwan even though the World Health Organization (WHO) still excludes Formosa Island from tackling the global outbreak for political reasons.

Although geographically close to China, Taiwan ranks 123rd among 183 countries in terms of confirmed cases per million people.

This shows the success of Taiwan’s aggressive efforts in controlling the plague.

The Taipei Economic and Trade Office (TETO)’s statement said that Taiwan cannot stand alone and must be included in the war against the pandemic.

Taiwan has fulfilled its responsibilities as a member of the global community and complied with the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) in informing WHO about a confirmed COVID-19 case, Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said in the statement.

In addition, Taiwan has communicated with other countries such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, the United States, Canada, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control to share information about confirmed cases, travel history and patient contact, and border control measures.

According to Minister Chen, Taiwan has uploaded the genetic sequence COVID-19 to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID). Taiwan has worked with global partners in responding to the threat of the COVID-19 to ensure that global health is not threatened by a lack of communication and transparency.

Mutual need

If it is WHO’s mission to ensure the highest health standards that can be achieved for every human being, then the organization needs Taiwan, just like Taiwan needs WHO.

However, Taiwan has long been expelled from WHO because of political considerations. Whereas Taiwan can share with the world about the experience of public health, the health system, the National Health Insurance system (NHI), and the ability to conduct rapid testing and research and manufacture of vaccines, as well as drugs in handling the COVID-19.

We can also share our methods of analysing viruses. We hope that after this pandemic subsides, WHO will truly understand that infectious diseases know no bounds, and that no country should be excluded, lest it become a major gap in global health security. WHO should not ignore the contribution to global health security of any country, said Taiwan Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung.

He urged WHO and related parties to recognize Taiwan’s contribution to the international community in the fields of public health, disease prevention, and human rights to health.

Taiwan also urged WHO to include Formosa Island in the organization so that it can actively participate in its meetings, mechanisms and activities.

Taiwan will continue to work with all parties in the world to ensure that all people enjoy the basic human rights to health as stipulated in the WHO Constitution.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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