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Taiwan marks 200 days without domestic COVID-19 case
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Taiwan marks 200 days without domestic COVID-19 case

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TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan hit 200 days without any domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, highlighting the island's continued success at keeping the virus under control even as cases surge in other parts of the world.

Taiwan's Center for Disease Control last reported a domestic case on April 12. CDC officials noted the milestone and thanked the public for playing a role, while urging people to continue to wear masks and to wash their hands often.

Since the pandemic began, Taiwan has recorded 553 cases of COVID-19, and just seven deaths. While it has stopped domestic transmission, it continues to record new cases in people arriving from abroad.

Taiwan has been pointed to as a success story in how to respond to the pandemic, especially considering its close business and tourism ties with China, where the virus first emerged late last year.

Virus Outbreak Taiwan

People wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus as they walk through a shopping district in Taipei, Taiwan, on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.

Questions remain, however, as to whether the island is truly free of the coronavirus. Local media have been paying close attention to reports of people who tested positive for COVID-19 after leaving Taiwan.

Authorities said Wednesday that they received notice from Japanese and Thai health authorities that three people who had recently left the island tested positive.

Yet Taiwan is still a success in light of the global scale of the pandemic — more than 44 million reported cases and 1.1 million deaths.

Its success has in part been attributed to acting very early on.

Taiwanese officials were checking passengers on flights from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the pandemic began, as early as Dec. 31 for fever and pneumonia symptoms, according to researchers writing in JAMA, a medical journal.

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