On last night’s COVID-19 Update Show, Love FM and Love TV held a video conference with members of the Chi Mei Medical Center in The Republic of China (Taiwan). Taiwan has been praised for the way it has handled and contained the spread of COVID-19 in their country. More importantly, they are willing to share the measures they put in place in order to assist other countries around the world. The Attending Physician at the ICU & Center of Infection Control, Dr Han-Siong Toh, explained some of these measures.
Dr Han-Siong Toh, Attending Physician, ICU & Center of Infection Control, Chi Mei Medical Center: “I think Taiwan reacted to the pandemic quite early in this year. So as we followed that China had a kind of weird pneumonia that was quite infectious we started to prepare to face the pandemic already. So in Taiwan we have very strict control on the points entry. That means in the airport and every harbor, so everyone that comes into Taiwan we would have quarantined for two weeks; that is the incubation period of the virus. So during the quarantine we would check the people when they get sick so that they can have medical help as soon as possible and then we would do the testing as well to test for the COVID-19. So just to prevent more and more imported cases we will have border control in Taiwan. There are only a few flights coming to Taiwan right now because we are doing a lot of travel restrictions so if you have very good border control and travel restrictions and strict control on entry you limit the case number from the outside. Of course maybe your people will be afraid of the community spread of the disease like many in this country so once you have a case of COVID-19 you should do contact tracking to check whether he had contact with his family or his friends and then all of them should be checked when they have the symptoms and do the testing because once you let a case go into the community there will be a high risk of transmitting the disease to others.”
Dr Toh also spoke on the possibility of a vaccine for the virus.
Dr Han-Siong Toh, Attending Physician, ICU & Center of Infection Control, Chi Mei Medical Center: Right now there are many clinical trials around the world trying to find out the magic roulette to kill the virus and I think in the next two weeks we will have some good news like some drugs called Hydroxychloroquine and Remdesivir some anti virus agent but we need more numbers to tell us whether these drugs are effective. Then of course about vaccine, there are a lot of clinical trials right now and people are trying to develop new vaccines to target the virus but of course if you think that we need to do a mass vaccination program to all of the people around the world I don’t think that it’s possible right now and it takes time, it takes money and of course we need to know more about the virus because right now we still don’t know when the virus will be immunized after we get the infection or after we get the vaccination so that would be another problem. So that’s why we need to do a lot of the human trials to know if the vaccine is effective.”