First, Taiwan acted fast. On Dec. 31, while Beijing was still denying the virus was capable of human transmission, Taiwanese officials began boarding planes arriving from Wuhan to identify and isolate passengers with fever or pneumonia before they could deplane. On Jan. 5, they denied entry to any individual who had traveled to Wuhan in the past 14 days and had a fever or respiratory symptoms. On Jan. 30, the government expanded its surveillance system to cover all travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macao. On Feb. 6, all international cruise ships were banned. On Feb. 14, an entry quarantine system was implemented that required all travelers to complete electronic health declarations. Anyone identified as high risk was placed under 14-day home quarantine and monitored electronically through their mobile phones.
Second, the government acted with complete transparency. Taiwan’s vice president, who happens to be an epidemiologist, delivered regular press briefings and public service announcements updating people on the mitigation efforts. After the Diamond Princess — the cruise ship that became a hotbed of covid-19 cases — docked near Taipei, the government published a list of 50 locations where passengers who disembarked had visited so those who had contact with them could self-quarantine. The government set up a coronavirus hotline and proactively sought out those with respiratory symptoms. Taiwanese officials also set price limits to prevent the hoarding of masks, and mobilized Taiwan’s military to help increase mask production from 2 million to 15 million a day.
Contrast this with the actions of the Chinese Communists, who punished doctors who tried to sound the alarm about the disease, ordered them to destroy virus samples and lied to the world.