Taiwan has recorded a 200th consecutive day without any local cases of coronavirus. 

The Asian island has won international praise for it handling of the pandemic, with Taiwan’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) last reporting a domestic case on April 12.

Since the outbreak began, the country has recorded 553 cases of Covid-19, and just seven deaths, as the virus surges worldwide. That has led to health experts lauding it as a success story in how to respond to the pandemic, particularly given its close business and tourism ties with China, where coronavirus first emerged late last year.

Taiwan’s success has been put down to acting early and putting a world-class testing system in place. 



Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news live

Questions remain about whether the country is completely free of the illness, despite hitting the 200-day milestone on Thursday, with new cases still being recorded among arrivals from abroad.

Meanwhile, more than 44 million cases and 1.1 million deaths have been reported worldwide. 

On Thursday, Taiwan’s CDC officials thanked the public for playing their part, while urging people to continue to wear masks and regularly wash their hands.

But concerns remain about people who tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving Taiwan.

Authorities said on Wednesday that they received notice from Japanese and Thai health authorities that three people who had recently left the island tested positive.

The country tightened its borders months ago, with flights from Wuhan — the Chinese city were the outbreak began — suspended on January 23, and Chinese nationals from the city were banned from entry.

A strict 14-day quarantine for all arrivals, whether Taiwanese or foreign, remains in place.

Taiwanese officials were checking passengers on flights from Wuhan as early as December 31 for fever and pneumonia symptoms, according to researchers writing in Jama, a medical journal.

Days later, on January 20, the government formally initiated the Central Epidemic Command Centre to coordinate the government response between different departments and branches – two months before the UK went into lockdown.

The Taiwanese government also highlighted the importance of wearing masks early, while trying to prevent panic buying and price-gouging by rationing them.

Professionals with technical expertise led the response and messaging on the virus – including Taiwan’s former vice president Chen Chien-jen, a trained epidemiologist.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

MORE: Taiwan offers fake two-hour flights with staged check-in as people miss flying so much