A volunteer speaks through a megaphone to remind people to wear a mask under Christmas decorations on December 18 in New Taipei, Taiwan. Ritchie B Tongo / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock
Taiwan reported its first locally transmitted Covid-19 case since April on Tuesday and broke a 250-day run without one, according to the island’s health ministry.
The ministry said the case was a woman in her thirties who had contact with another positive case, a foreign pilot, between December 8 and 12.
The island of 23 million last reported a locally transmitted case on April 12.
Taiwan reported three imported cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of Covid-19 infections since the pandemic started to 770. Only seven people have died from coronavirus in Taiwan.
On Monday, a senior Taiwanese health official said the island would not consider banning flights from the UK after a new strain was discovered, according to Taiwanese state media, as adequate preventive measures were already in place.
Taiwan’s outbreak: Taipei’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been one of the most effective in the world.
Taiwan has never had to impose strict bans. There were also no drastic restrictions on civil liberties as in mainland China.
Instead, Taiwan’s answer focused on speed. Taiwanese authorities began screening passengers on direct flights from Wuhan, where the virus was first identified, on December 31, 2019 – back when the virus was mainly the subject of rumors and limited reports.
Taiwan confirmed its first reported case of the novel coronavirus on Jan. 21 and banned Wuhan residents from traveling to the island. All passengers arriving from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau were required to undergo screening.
All of this happened before Wuhan itself was locked on January 23rd. Until March, Taiwan banned most foreigners from entering the island, except for diplomats, residents and those with special entry visas.