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Mayor Ko Attends Techsummit Events in Slovakia to Share Epidemic Prevention Experience

Mayor Ko attended Techsummitevents.sk webinar.Techsummitevents.sk held an online video conference on “Municipalities in Crisis” from May 25 to May 27, 2020. The Techsummit Events host invited Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-Je to participate in the events through the Economic Division of the Taipei Representative Office, Bratislava. Ambassador Tom Chou, spokesperson of the Taipei City government, and Executive Director Gordon Yang of the Taipei City Government International Affairs Advisory Council also attended the conference. During the conference, representatives of various cities exchanged opinions regarding COVID-19 management measures and future urban development plans.
The conference moderator was Peter Bielik, Deputy Managing Editor and journalist for TA3 television, a local television channel in Slovakia. Other attendees included Martin Klus, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic; Miranda Sharp, a member of the Smart London Board; Mariusz Sagan, Poland Lublin City Government Strategy and Business Office Director; and Gabor Kerpel-Fronius, Deputy Mayor of Budapest, Hungary.
During the conference, Mayor Ko explained the innovative measures that the Taipei City government adopted to prevent epidemics, such as remote teaching, epidemic prevention hotels, epidemic prevention taxi services, epidemic education in public transport, and relief packages designed to reduce the industrial and economic damage inflicted by the pandemic. Mayor Ko emphasized that the epidemic is severe globally, and mutual assistance between cities is crucial. Therefore, the Taipei City government established an informational website on epidemic prevention and created an English version of its standard operating procedures to manage epidemics. The Taipei City government actively shares these resources and experience with Taipei’s sister cities, partner cities, and various countries’ institutes and offices in Taiwan to help other international cities fight COVID-19.
Representatives from each city shared the effects of COVID-19 on their local areas, resulting challenges, and solutions. In addition, in the discussion of new lifestyles in response to the epidemic, the representatives mentioned that the proportions of home-based offices and online video conferences have increased. The government uses basic databases to facilitate decision-making, demonstrating people’s increasing dependence on high-technology products. However, the effect of such a decision-making model remains unknown. Mayor Ko attributed the Taiwan’s successful epidemic prevention to the Taiwanese government’s proactive promotion of new lifestyle habits, such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and maintaining social distance, to Taiwanese people. Unlike the lockdown measures adopted by many other countries and cities to prevent the epidemic’s spread, the measures adopted by the Taiwanese government have allowed people to retain their normal lives and maintain normal social and economic activities.