Taiwan`s President Tsai Ing-wen: Leading the Fight against COVID-19

Case Code: LDEN164
Case Length: 16 Pages
Period: -
Pub Date: 2020
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization : -
Industry :Government & Non-Profit Organizations
Countries : Taiwan
Themes: Women in leadership/ Disaster Management/ Resilient Leadership
Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Public Health Emergency Response in Taiwan

In order to respond to disasters rapidly, Taiwan developed a public health emergency response framework. The partnership network built based on lessons learned from many painful experiences such as the catastrophic earthquake in 1999 and the SARS outbreak in 2003, was expected to prevent, detect, and respond across all government levels and different departments, if a disaster occurred...

Outbreak of Covid-19

The coronavirus outbreak came to light on December 31, 2019, when China informed the WHO of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China – the seventh-largest city in China with 11 million residents. The first reported infected individuals were discovered to be stallholders in the Wuhan South China Seafood Market. Subsequently, the wet market was closed on January 1, 2020..

Tsai’s First and Fastest Moves

A study called “Modelling the Spread of 2019-nCoV” conducted by Johns Hopkins University in January 2020 forecast that Taiwan would be one of the most at-importation risk areas outside of mainland China due to its geographic proximity and extensive trade links with China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2019, about 2.71 million visitors from the mainland traveled to Taiwan. With over 850,000 of its citizens residing and working in mainland China and given the fact that the outbreak coincided with the Chinese New Year, one of the busiest travel times of the year, experts predicted that Taiwan would be heavily affected by COVID-19..

‘Taiwan Can Help’ Campaign

While prioritizing the needs of the Taiwanese at home, the Tsai-led government extended humanitarian assistance and used its excess capacity to contribute to international epidemic prevention efforts. The country offered medical assistance to countries struggling to contain the virus through the campaign ‘Taiwan can Help’ by donating masks and other medical equipment. As part of the campaign, Taiwan donated 10 million masks to the US,..


Under Tsai’s leadership, Taiwan managed to come up with what analysts called “among the world’s best” responses, keeping the epidemic under control. As of August 9, 30, 2020, it reported about 479 cases and 7 deaths with a mortality rate of 0.25 per million people (See Exhibit V). Taiwan managed to maintain the lowest infection rate per million for the longest period in the world..

The Road to Recovery

Following the CECC’s announcement on May 11, 2020, that Taiwan had gone 28 days without reporting a single local transmission of COVID-19, the Taiwanese government began to ease restrictions imposed during the pandemic and to take the necessary steps to revive the economy. Learning from lessons of the pandemic, which highlighted the risk of medical supply shortages, Tsai stressed the importance of establishing strategic stockpile industries that could ensure the steady provision of critical supplies.


Exhibit I: Taiwan’s GDP Growth
Exhibit II: The Disaster Prevention and Protection Organization Structure
Exhibit III: COVID-19 Cases Worldwide (as of August 9, 2020)
Exhibit IV: Actions on Border Control, Travel Restrictions, and Case Finding
Exhibit V: Total Coronavirus Cases in Taiwan (as of August 8, 2020)
Exhibit VI: Confirmed COVID-19 Cases per Million People
Exhibit VII: Consumer Spending in Taiwan

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