Acceleration of vaccine rollout and test-and-trace improvements credited for turnaround
Taiwan has reported zero community cases of Covid-19 for the first time since its biggest outbreak began in May, killing more than 800 people.
“The local confirmed case today is zero, it was not easy,” the head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, Chen Shih-chung, said on Wednesday.
“I believe everyone is happy about this zero, but it doesn’t mean that the Covid-19 is completely cleared in Taiwan. There is still a long way to go, but this zero means that the epidemic is relatively stable. "
The island’s ability to keep the pandemic out of the community was a global success story. Residents lived a largely normal life for most of 2020 and early 2021, albeit with closed borders.
Chen said Wednesday’s announcement was “just the start of hope”, and authorities would observe the situation for a while before further relaxing restrictions.
The alert was dropped to level two on 27 July, but not all county governments have passed it on in totality, instead maintaining limited closures and restrictions. In some cities students have returned to school, restaurants have reopened for in-person dining, and sport and other entertainment is restarting.