Taipei Medical University Alumni Fight Side by Side against the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The COVID-19 outbreak has substantially changed everyone’s life. While the fight is still ongoing, the Taipei Medical University acknowledges and extends tribute to the TMU alumni representatives who have played significant roles in leading Taiwan’s response to COVID-19.

Much of the credit goes to the Central Epidemic Command Center led by Dr. Chen Shih-Chung,  the Minister of Health and Welfare and the commander of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and an alumnus of the School of Dentistry, for Taiwan successful attempt over the past few months.

Coupled with the proactive prevention measure, an outstanding team of experts, transparent policy communications, and the cooperation of the people have kept Taiwan safe since the outbreak, allowing 23 million Taiwanese people to lead their daily life with considerably little disruption.

For 140 consecutive days since the outbreak, Dr. Chen had presided over 164 press conferences, providing the public with the latest updates and policy response which led to contained collective panic and thus built the public’s trust in the government.

With strong solidarity, the Taiwanese society performed brilliantly in terms of epidemic prevention, which made it one of the global role models. The Japanese media extolled Dr. Chen as “Iron Minister” for his tireless devotion amid the outbreak. However, to Dr. Chen, the success of the epidemic prevention should be attributed to the joint efforts of the whole nation.

Dr. Chen believes in the collective efficacy derived from the combination of preemptive actions, expert advice, transparent policy, and strong cooperation of the entire population. None of which is dispensable.

Dr. Hsueh Jui-Yuan , the Vice Minister of Health and Welfare and Chief of the Healthcare Response Team of the CECC and the alumnus of the School of Medicine, orchestrated Taiwan’s continuous logistical support, ranging from expanding the coronavirus testing capacity, reorganizing hospital isolation wards as well as the centralized quarantine stations to ensuring adequate medical and nursing staff, effectively preventing the epidemic from spreading.

In the early morning of December 31, 2019, the moment learning from the internal channel that the way the COVID-19 spread might be similar to that SARS epidemic did, Dr. Chou Jih-Haw, the Director General of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Centers for Disease Control and the Chief of the Epidemic Group of the CECC and the alumnus of the School of Dentistry, immediately notified the competent authority and activated the epidemic prevention mechanism to safeguard the country’s borders.

On March 10, 2020, Dr. Wang Victor Pi-Sheng , the Chief Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Hospital and Social Welfare Organizations Administration and Deputy Chief of the Healthcare Response Team of the CECC,  led 4 physicians and 9 nurses to escort over 100 citizens safely back to Taiwan from China, splendidly completing the arduous mission under the nationwide attention. Dr Wang is an alumnus of the School of Medicine.

Shortly before the 2020 Chinese New Year while Dr. Lee Po-Chang , the Director General of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s National Health Insurance Administrations and the School of Medicine alumnus, was on vacation abroad with his family, he received sudden instructions to launch the Health Insurance Travel History Cloud Inquiry System and the Mask Rationing Control System in the shortest possible time. He immediately organized his colleagues to start working on the projects and had the systems completed in less than two days, which not only prevented the public’s panic buying of masks, helped identify the high-risk population that required medical treatments in the early stages, but also ensured the safety of medical staff and communities.

Hundreds of thousands of TMU alumni have unwearyingly fought together in this unprecedented epidemic prevention battle. Regardless of where they are, these TMU alumni’s braveness, selflessness, and altruism make every Taiwanese proud.