Taiwan, an independent state in the East China Sea, has a population of more than 23 million and is less than 1,000 kilometers from the Chinese city of Wuhan – where the coronavirus was first detected in December.
Yet, to date, there have been barely 329 confirmed corona infections, and five people have died from the effects of the virus. How can that be explained? Because Taiwan was going to strictly control the borders as soon as the coronavirus came to their ears.
As soon as China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of the possible outbreak of a new virus, Taiwan started to check its borders. That means: travelers who arrived by plane were checked at the airport with thermometers. They had to complete a questionnaire, and if they were found to be sick, they were immediately quarantined. Non-residents of Taiwan were no longer welcome and had to turn around. That is still true.
Due to the strict controls at the borders and the rapid response, not many measures apply to the Asian island. The schools are open there, public transport just runs, and you can still eat something in a bar or restaurant. So little has changed for the (healthy) Taiwanese, although everyone now wears a mask, and the temperature of staff is measured daily.
However, the lack of (strict) measures such as other affected countries is compensated for by strict controls. For example, sick residents are followed by their smartphones to ensure that they stay indoors. But most Taiwanese voluntarily remain in quarantine for fourteen days as soon as they feel unwell.