The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly spread to 187 countries since the first outbreak of the disease in December of 2019. As of now, more than 9.21 million cases have been confirmed with 470,000 deaths reported worldwide. To prepare for the second wave of COVID-19 infection, the U.S., Japan, Australia and Taiwan co-organized the virtual Global Cooperation and Training Framework (vGCTF) workshop on Preparing for the Second Wave on June 24. Several distinguished guests joined the virtual workshop and gave remarks, including the Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), the Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), the Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) William Brent Christensen (酈英傑), the Chief Representative of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Taipei Office Hiroyasu Izumi (泉裕泰), and the Deputy Representative of Australian Office Taipei Susan Moore (莫蘇善).
Minister Chen stated in his concluding remarks that although the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided and brought under control in Taiwan, faced with a possible second wave, Taiwan still urges citizens to practice social distancing in their daily lives and carry out the new lifestyle for disease prevention. In addition, Taiwan is keen to work with international stakeholders to develop vaccines, efficient treatment and diagnostics in case there is a second outbreak.
The CECC reported that public health experts from the U.S., Japan, Australia and Taiwan were invited to share best practices, lessons learned, and other issues related to preparedness and response for the second wave. The virtual workshop covered the aspects of community preparedness, public health and health care, and surveillance and investigation. Participants of previous public health training programs under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) and experts in charge of COVID-19 prevention and control were also invited. Over 70 experts from 16 countries across the globe tuned in to join the virtual workshop. Through experience sharing and exchanges from the participants and speakers, the virtual workshop provided a platform for participants to improve regional COVID-19 prevention capacity and address the pandemic.
The CECC further explained that this workshop is the seventh public health training held under the U.S.-Taiwan GCTF established on June 1, 2015. A total of over 160 public health officials or experts from 20 countries across the globe have attended the GCTF workshops to share their experiences and made these workshops successful and fruitful.