March 23, 2020

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Alan Ching-Tsung Wei MPA-DP ’19 and Chingyu Yao MIA ’03 are part of New Taipei City’s efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Alan Ching-Tsung Wei MPA-DP ’19 and Chingyu Yao MIA ’03 are part of New Taipei City’s efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Taiwan, an island of almost 24 million people, is just over 100 miles from mainland China. As of March 21 it had reported only 153 cases of coronavirus.

Despite a recent uptick in cases attributed to citizens returning from travel abroad, Taiwan's rate of infection is low compared to its Asian neighbors. The reason for this, according to Foreign Policy, is the government’s “combination of early vigilance, proactive measures, and information sharing with the public, as well as applying technology in the form of analyzing big data and online platforms.”

Two Taiwanese SIPA alumni have been on the front line fighting this global pandemic. Alan Ching-Tsung Wei MPA-DP ’19 is a senior policy adviser for the New Taipei City Government Secretariat, whose director-general is Chingyu Yao MIA ’03.

Their team has published their city’s control measures and shared them with officials in New York City and Boston.

“I hope that helps and the world can work together to overcome the epidemic,” Wei told SIPA News via email.

“Even though Taiwan [is located] very close to mainland China, unlike the outbreaks in the nearby countries, we're lucky to have limited cases since February due to oversteps and measures,” he wrote. “New Taipei City is not only the largest city in Taiwan, but also is implementing the most advanced control measures among other cities.”