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Representatives from New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office and Institutes and Offices of Other Countries in Taiwan Visit Mayor Ko to Discuss Taipei’s Epidemic Prevention Experience

Representatives from multi-countries visited Mayor Ko.
On May 29, 2020, Mayor Ko attended a joint visit event initiated by the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO) to share experiences and exchange opinions regarding the development of COVID-19 and Taipei City government’s response measures. Guests included representatives from NZCIO, the American Institute in Taiwan, the British Office Taipei, the Australian Office Taipei, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, and the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei. Attending representatives of the Taipei City government were from relevant departments such as the Department of Health, Department of Civil Affairs, Taipei City Fire Department, Department of Information and Tourism, and the Taipei City Police Department.
First, Deputy Director Tom Chou of the Taipei City Government International Affairs Advisory Council shared the highlights and response measures of Taiwan’s epidemic prevention. The attending representatives from each institute or office raised questions on topics they were interested in and had an in-depth discussion with Mayor Ko. Discussion during the event involved collaborative relationships between central and local governments in epidemic prevention. Mayor Ko responded that the respect that the Taiwanese government has for professionals was the main factor that determined its success in epidemic prevention. The central government establishes general principles, and local governments determine detailed regulations. Moreover, big data technology has been used to allocate face masks by using identification cards and conduct contact tracing by connecting mobile phones with GPS.
When asked about phased planning for city lockdown, Mayor Ko responded that the Taipei City government has already listed control methods depending on epidemic severity. Taiwan is one of the few countries that has maintained normal operations of schools and public transportation during the epidemic. Maintaining normal societal operations is the primary strategic goal to prevent an economic recession. To enable tourism and economic activities to resume as the epidemic gradually subsides, the Taipei City government is cooperating with the hospitality industry to promote package discounts to attract tourists. In the future, pairs of countries without confirmed local cases may gradually lift mutual travel bans and develop protocols for unrestricted travel between them.
The joint visit event enabled representatives from other countries to not only understand the epidemic prevention behaviors and outcomes of Taiwan and Taipei City but also learn from sharing mutual experiences, embodying the spirit of borderless epidemic prevention