Taiwan has become an example in the fight against the COVID-19 virus, with 348 registered cases and only five deaths. The government has enacted strict measures to prevent the virus from spreading amongst the population, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travellers to Taiwan, to be completed under the watchful eye of the authorities.
 

Starting on March 18, everyone arriving on Taiwanese soil from abroad is required to remain quarantined at home for 14 days. Travellers must provide their quarantine address to the authorities, take their temperature twice a day, and leave their phones on 24 hours a day.

The Taiwanese government provides people in quarantine with masks, food and other essential items. (Video posted on Twitter on March 28, 2020).

This post published on Facebook on March 29 reads in French: "Wow, this is a different world here! Here's a package sent by the the director of the local tourism office in Pingtung after we were put in quarantine. It's an apology! ... Thank you go the government and Taiwanese hosptitality." 

The Taiwanese government keeps an eye on those under quarantine order by tracking their phones. People under quarantine are required to have their phones turned on at all times. On March 22, a man was fined nearly 31,000 euros for leaving quarantine to go out to a nightclub.

"They can track me using my phone. It doesn’t bother me”

Yiting Wang is a 37-year-old woman from Taiwan. She returned to Taiwan from Frankfurt, Germany on March 27. Before leaving, she filled out an online form and reported that she had mild allergy symptoms, symptoms similiar to the coronavirus.

Before landing in Taiwan, all travellers are required to fill out an online form with questions about their health.
 
Everyone on the plane was Taiwanese. Everyone was wearing a mask and some were wearing gloves or even protective suits. When we landed at 6am, we had to answer questions about our journey and our health and fill out a form with the address of where we’d be quarantining. Then, a doctor tested us.

We were forbidden from taking public transport and, instead, each of us was assigned a taxi. For about 30 euros, the driver took me home to Taichung (a town south of the capital, Taipei). The driver disinfected my clothes and my bags.









 
Travellers wait for their temperature to be taken at the airport in Taiwan. All of them must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Wang has been isolating in her friend’s house, where she has a floor to herself. She didn’t want to go back to her elderly parents’ home for fear of infecting them.

 
Within 12 hours, I got a package from the local government containing, among other things, a mask and a thermometer. City Hall also called me. They asked me if I needed any help and also provided me with a number to call in case of symptoms. They offered help with groceries, medicine, even taking the trash out. They also offered psychological support.

I get two calls a day. One from the Taichung City Hall and another from the central government. They can track me using my phone. If I leave the house, they’ll call the police. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t plan to leave my floor.
 
On the first day of her quarantine, Wang received a package from the local government in Taichung. It contained 14 masks, a thermometer, a code for access to e-books and a month of free online magazines, a trash bag, disinfectant for her belongings and a thermometer.
 
Some people also get food. I haven’t received any yet, but I have my own stock. I put a table outside my room and my friend puts food on it. I stay away from everyone. Today, March 30, is my fourth day of quarantine. I am so thankful for the help from the government and my friends. I’m even eligible for a 400 euro payment from the government.

Wang has food stocked up so that she doesn’t have to leave the floor in her friend’s house where she is quarantined.

"Look what my girlfriend got from her country (Taiwan) during her 14-day quarantine,” posted one Reddit user on March 25.
 
People in quarantine like Wang have to fill out a detailed form every day, reporting their temperature and general health. They must report if they’ve had symptoms such as a fever, a cough, a runny nose, difficulty breathing, aches or if they generally feel unwell.



Wang suffered from a lung infection last year after contracting the flu, so she is taking extra precautions. She plans to extend her 14-day quarantine by ten additional days.



Article written by Marie Genries