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Homeland Security

Timeline: COVID-19 in Taiwan

ROC Central News Agency

04/18/2020 07:44 PM

Dec. 31: Health screening begins
Taiwan begins screening arriving passengers from Wuhan as they disembark at the airport. That measure is gradually expanded to flights from China then to all incoming flights, by March.

Jan. 20: Taiwan sets up central emergency command center
The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control establishes the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) in response to a growing number of infections caused by a novel coronavirus in neighboring countries.

Jan. 21: Taiwan confirms first case
A Taiwanese passenger arriving from Wuhan tests positive for the disease that the World Health Organization later named COVID-19, two days before China locked down Wuhan and other cities.

Jan. 26: Entry of Chinese tourists restricted
Entry restrictions begin with visitors from China's Hubei Province during the Lunar New Year holidays and are gradually expanded to all Chinese nationals.

Feb. 3: First group of Taiwanese evacuated
A group of 247 Taiwanese is evacuated from Wuhan on the first of several special flights after a series of discussions between officials in China and Taiwan.

Feb. 6: Mask rationing begins
The government requisitions all surgical face masks produced in Taiwan and implements a rationing system for the public, allowing holders of National Health Insurance cards to each buy two per week at designated pharmacies. The ration is later increased to three per week, then nine every fortnight, and an online ordering system is introduced.\

Feb. 11: Travel alerts expanded
Taiwan health authorities advise against travel to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Thailand because of COVID-19 outbreaks in those destinations.

Feb. 16: Taiwan records first death
Taiwan reports its first COVID-19 death, a rental car driver who apparently contracted the disease from a retuning Taiwanese businessman based in China.

Feb. 21 Taiwanese on Diamond Princess evacuated
A charter flight brings home 19 Taiwanese who were onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined off Yokohama, Japan. The retuning Taiwanese are put into quarantine for 14 days.

Feb. 25: Legislature passes relief bill
A bill, called the Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens, is passed in the Legislature to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

Feb. 26-March 2: Schools reopen after winter break
After a two-week postponement of the start of the spring semester, elementary and high schools open on Feb. 26, and universities on March 2.

March 14: Travel alerts widened
Taiwan issues new travel alerts to include high risk areas in Europe, North Africa and Dubai, citing a rise in imported cases from these regions. The warnings are expanded to the U.S., Canada, and Australasia in the following days.

March 18: Taiwan confirms 100th case
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan hits 100. The death toll remains at one, while 22 patients are reported to have recovered.

March 19: Border control tightened
Taiwan bans all foreign visitors, with few exceptions, and imposes mandatory 14-day self-isolation for all arriving passengers.

March 24: Transit passengers banned
Taiwan prohibits the entry of travelers en route to another country. Hong Kong and Singapore take similar steps.

March 30: Confirmed cases pass 300
The number of confirmed cases rises to 306, with five fatalities. Recoveries are reported as 39.

April 1: President Tsai gives national address on COVID-19
In a national speech, President Tsai Ing-wen pledges donations of surgical face masks and other types of assistance to foreign nations and announces an expansion of the domestic relief package.

April 1: Masks become mandatory on public transport
The Ministry of Transportation says all passengers on public transportation must wear a face mask or they will be fined.

April 2: Cabinet proposes bigger relief package
The Cabinet puts forth a plan to increase the country's NT$60 billion (US$2 billion) coronavirus relief package by NT$150 billion. The passage of the additional funds is forecast for May.

April 3: Global cases surpass 1 million
The number of confirmed cases worldwide surges past 1 million, and Europe and the U.S. become the two epicenters.

April 4: First national alert issued
The government issues a national alert via text messaging, reminding people to observe the social distancing guidelines and avoid gatherings during the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival.

April 9: Hostess clubs and ballrooms closed
The CECC issues an order to shut down hostess clubs and ballrooms, saying they are high-risk venues for the spread of COVID-19, and urges social distancing to prevent cluster infections.

April 10: Further crowd management measures introduced
The CECC announces tighter crowd measurement measures at scenic and popular areas around Taiwan.Night markets, traditional markets and shopping areas are required to enforce social distancing, and have only one point of entry.

April 16: Global cases surpass 2 million
The number of confirmed cases around the world climbs above 2 million, while Taiwan reports no new cases three times in the same week.

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