Taiwan on Thursday counted its 200th day without recording a single domestically transmitted coronavirus case, just as other regions of the world—like the U.S. and Europe—are battling record-breaking surges in new cases, making the island country a rare success story of the pandemic.
Commuters wear face masks to travel on public transport in Taipei City, Taiwan, in July.
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It’s no small feat, especially considering how many people live there—with nearly 24 million residents, it would fall between Florida and Texas in terms of population, but in comparison those U.S. states have counted 790,000 and 931,000 cases, respectively, along with more than 16,000 and 18,000 deaths each.
“Taiwan is the only major country that has so far been able to keep community transmission of Covid eliminated,” Peter Collignon, an Australian National University Medical School professor told Bloomberg, adding the country has “probably had the best result around the world.”
Taiwan was served well by shutting down borders early on and heavily monitoring travel as well as the mandatory two-week quarantines of new arrivals ever since—while no new locally spread cases have been reported, the country has counted 20 new cases coming from overseas in the past 14 days, according to a Bloomberg report, with three registered on Thursday alone.
The country’s past brush with SARS in a 2003 outbreak that infected hundreds and killed dozens is said to be fresh enough in people’s