Dear friends and partners,
The Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) would like to share and provide an update about the latest developments of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Taiwan and the health and safety measures implemented at our higher education institutions, including procedures practiced at our office at Taipei.
Taiwan has a population of 23.8 million people and take pride in our health care system. In response to COVID-19, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced the activation of the Central Epidemic Command Center on January 20, 2020. Our highly trained medical staff and the coordinated efforts of government staff in the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Taiwan Centers for Disease Control has allowed Taiwan to prevent a rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in the early stage of the pandemic.
As of 27 March, Taiwan’s CDC has tested 28,507 people suspected of COVID-19 infection in which 25,449 people tested negative and 252 tested positive. Of the 252 confirmed cases, 29 has been discharged and 2 sadly passed away. The Central Epidemic Command Center has kept our citizens informed of the coronavirus disease, latest local developments, and guidelines for preventing infection through multiple channels, including daily press conferences, multimedia public service announcements on the CDC website (www.cdc.gov.tw/En), and through social media (www.facebook.com/TWCDC/).
The health and safety of staff and students at schools and universities are a high priority in preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection. Taiwan’s government agencies are working closely with schools and universities to clean and disinfect campuses, ensure good ventilation in classrooms, provide infection prevention supplies such as surgical masks and alcohol-based sanitizers, maintaining effective communication channels to disseminate correct information about COVID-19 and personal hygiene and to report any new developments. Currently, all staff, students, and visitors’ forehead temperature must be below 37.5 degrees Celsius before being admitted on campus, and people must be seated one to two meters apart with good ventilation when in the same room. All visitors on campus also need to fill a health care questionnaire declaring their travel history, any flu-like symptoms, contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, and compliance with any mandatory self-health management regulations. The collected personal information is protected by the Personal Data Protection Act and will only be used for disease prevention-related matters. Visitors to our FICHET office will be required to fill a health care questionnaire (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSegTzsVTbQ3VtC714stcdTmKpQLEThZznCosViWZKgzZ8mP-A/viewform).
We hope this brief letter has offered information on Taiwan’s public health system and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and reassurance about the proactive measure in our education system to prevent the spread of the disease.
FICHET continues to look forward to our future collaborations in promoting the internationalization of higher education. We welcome updates from your institutions and organizations and wish you health and wellbeing during this time.
Huey-Jen Jenny Su, Sc.D.
Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET)
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)