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Taiwan victims of its success – the spread of infection is increasing

Since mid-May, more than 11,000 cases and 260 deaths have been reported in Taiwan. It is estimated that the still-high infection prevalence gained momentum in April, in connection with an outbreak in an airport hotel. Quarantine rules for unvaccinated pilots and flight crews were then relaxed, and two pilots were soon confirmed to have been infected. On May 7, 29 confirmed cases were linked to the hotel outbreak.

A little more than a week later, the country’s four-point crisis scale was raised to the second-highest, after half of the country’s counties reported new cases. This entails, among other things, a ban on large crowds, distance education and strict rules for social distancing.

Before that, the country had The fight against epidemics has been described as a great success. More than 250 days passed between April and December 2020 without a single case recorded. Among many, Taiwan has been highlighted as an example of how to fend off the epidemic.

But then success swung.

When large parts of the world launched massive vaccination campaigns, Taiwan backed off. The doses went to countries that were proven to have major problems. At the same time, the success of the first year of the epidemic rose to the heads of the authorities, according to a number of experts. Watchman It has been spoken of, in a way that insufficient consideration has been given to the importance of mass testing, computed using novel virus variants or even considered large-scale shutdowns.

Some experts believe that Taiwan She became a “victim of her own success” and goes so far as to reach the country’s authorities complacently, the paper wrote.

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Chunhee Chi, a professor at the University of Oregon and a former adviser to Taiwan health authorities, says they have relied so much on the country’s contact tracing system that they have been surprised by the spread of the British variant virus (now known as Alpha).

– At first, the government was surprised, not only by the outbreak itself but also by the scale, so now they are rushing to mobilize all the resources to control the outbreak, Che says to Watchman.

Hopes of securing vaccines for the country’s more than 23 million people have been dashed by geopolitical hurdles in the form of China, which Taiwan accuses of halting a deal with Germany’s Biontech.

The crisis was extended on Monday until the end of June.