The virus was confirmed to have spread to Taiwan on 21 January 2020, from a 50-year-old woman who had been teaching in Wuhan, China.The Taiwanese government integrated data from the national health care system, immigration, and customs authorities to aid in the identification and response to the virus. Government efforts are coordinated through the National Health Command Center (NHCC) of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, established to aid in disaster management for epidemics.
The Journal of the American Medical Association says Taiwan engaged in 124 discrete action items to prevent the spread of the disease, including early screening of flights from Mainland China and the tracking of individual casesTaiwan’s handling of the outbreak has received international praise for its effectiveness in quarantining people.As of 17 August, 168,216 tests had been conducted in Taiwan, with the vast majority not confirming a COVID-19 diagnosis.Starting 19 March, foreign nationals were barred from entering Taiwan, with some exceptions, such as those carrying out the remainder of business contracts, and special permits.
On 15 March, Taiwan announced six new cases, all imported. Subsequently, Taiwan’s health minister advised people to remain in Taiwan and avoid travel.After discovering the mass imports of foreign cases, on March 17, the CECC announced that it would trace the contacts of travelers that had arrived from Europe between 3 March and 14 March.On 20 March 2020, Taiwan reported 27 new cases, the highest single-day increase. The second death linked to coronavirus in Taiwan was announced on 20 March, and involved a man in his 80s, who had no recent travel history, but did have hypertension, diabetes and relied on kidney dialysis. Throughout September, the CECC announced that Taiwan had received notifications from Vietnam ,Japan, the Philippines, and China that travelers that had recently arrived from Taiwan had tested positive for COVID-19.
Amid Taiwan’s success in avoiding a mass lockdown that could have devastated the economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted Taiwan’s 2020 annual gross domestic product (GDP) with a decline of 4%, lower than 6% average decline of most developed economies. Private analysts predict a contraction of just 1.2% of the GDP while the government remains optimistic of a growth of 1.92%.In an effort to mitigate the economic impact of this pandemic, the Executive Yuan proposed a stimulus package worth NT$60 billion (US$2 billion). On 25 February, the Legislative Yuan passed the stimulus package and Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for COVID-19.The Ministry of Economic Affairs had also introduced stimulus coupons to encourage citizens to buy commodities.
Taiwan Capitalization Weighted Stock Index had decreased over 13.1% due to the coronavirus as of 12 March. Foreign investors have sold over NT$200 billion.Therefore, National Stabilization Fund decided on 19 March that it is essential to intervene in the stock market. On 3 April, Premier Su Tseng-chang announced an expansion of the stimulus package to NT$1.05 trillion.On 30 April, Taiwan published its GDP in the first quarter of 2020 which saw a growth of 1.52% year-on-year despite decreasing exports.
In the aviation industry, Taiwanese carrier China Airlines‘ direct flights to Rome have first been rejected and cancelled since Italy has announced the ban on Taiwanese flights.The second-largest Taiwanese airline, EVA Air, has also postponed the launch of Milan and Phuket flights.Both Taiwanese airlines have cut numerous cross-strait destinations, leaving just three Chinese cities still served.As global cases emerge, air demands for traveling have been decreasing, leaving the country’s largest airport, Taoyuan International Airport, with just 669 passengers arriving or departing without any passenger in Terminal 1.
On 13 May, EVA Air reported a net loss of NT$1.2 billion because of low demand caused by the pandemic. Starlux Airlines, a start-up airline that launched its first flights on 23 January 2020, shut down most of its routes only a month after its launch.Subsequent to the ease of COVID-19 in Taiwan, domestic tourism has substantially increased especially in Penghu.As a result, Penghu has been overwhelmed by the barrage of visitors. Therefore, the local government has decided to charge each traveler traveling fees to maintain the quality of local tourism.