About Taiwan’s team that contained the deadly Covid-19. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC)!

Docsun Clinical AI Laboratory
4 min readAug 11, 2020

Taiwan is always in the state of readiness to the threats of emerging infectious disease. To be frank, Taiwan seems to be the only country that was ready for biological threats since the worst experience during the SARS outbreak, 17 years ago. The island country sensed a potential outbreak in Chinese province of Wuhan in the last week of the year 2019. While the world was welcoming the New year with a lot of aspiration and dreams, the Government of Taiwan was mobilizing the resources to combat the expected threat.

Since the island country is just a hundred miles off the coast of China, the country had every chance to be the biggest victim of the potential outbreak. Millions of people travel between the island and mainland annually. To protect the region and its citizens from the viral outbreak, Taiwan setup Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to be a single point of communication to monitor the healthcare, borders, aviation, resource, information, intelligence, response and public administration. In this article today, we’ll look into the profiles of the CECC team and the timeline of the Command center.

Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) Timeline

  1. December 27th, 2019 — A cluster of mysterious, suspected pneumonia cases was notified by a Wuhan hospital to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and health commission.
  2. December 31st, 2019 — Wuhan CDC disclosed to the media regarding a cluster of cases in Wuhan province related to Huanan Seafood Market.
  3. January 2nd, 2020 — Taiwan setup a Response Team to respond to the mystery pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan, China.
  4. January 20th, 2020 — Level 3 Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) was established to integrate the administration, academic, medical and private sector to fight against the outbreak with Dr. Jin-Haw Chou, the Director General of Taiwan Centers for Disease Control as the commander.
  5. January 23rd, 2020 — CECC was upgraded to level 2 as the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed on January 21st. Dr. Shih-Chung Chen, the Minister of Health and Welfare served as the commander to coordinate and mobilize resources from a cross-ministry perspective, including the ministries of interior, transportation, foreign affairs, economics, labor, education, environment, etc. as well as private stakeholders to fight against COVID-19.
  6. February 27, 2020 — Level 1 of the CECC was established due to the global epidemic situation getting worse. Dr. Shih-Chung Chen, the Minister of Health and Welfare was designated by the Premier as the commander to coordinate and mobilize resources from across ministries and private stakeholders to fight against COVID-19.

Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) Framework

Commander: Dr. Shih-Chung Chen, the Minister of Health and Welfare

Deputy Commander: Tsung-Yen Chen, the Deputy Minister of the Interior

Intelligence Section

  • Epidemic Intelligence Group

Operation Section

  • Border Quarantine Group
  • Community Epidemic Control Group
  • Healthcare Response Group

Logistics Section

  • Resource Coordination Group
  • Research and Development Group
  • Information Management Group
  • Administration Group
  • Public Information Group
CECC Framework. Image Source: Taiwan CDC

With CECC taking the central command of almost all the responsibilities of government, let’s take a look at the profile of key personnel involved in making Taiwan the most efficient strategy to contain Covid-19.

Dr. Shih-Chung Chen

Dr. Chen is just one figure amongst many who are working to protect public health in Taiwan and has become the face of the current movement. Chen has become an increasingly visible figure in Taiwan over the last few months since appointed as the commander of CECC. Although the daily press briefings by the Center for Disease have been ongoing since January, these events seem to have been gaining more attention since cases began to pile up in mid-March. Chen’s face appears in many articles that report on the news from daily briefings. As the Coronavirus has increasingly become a regular part of life and politics in Taiwan, so has Chen.

Dr. Shih-Chung Chen. Image Source: New Indian Express

Along with Dr. Chen, there are many front line warriors who have contributed to the applaudable situation Taiwan has created. With the efforts, Taiwan is lauded all across the world in its efforts to combat deadly pandemic and being an example of medical and healthcare preparedness for future threats. Those efforts have been reflected in the numbers of cases that the country has recorded i.e less than 500 and single digit deaths. Understanding that the right team and expertise along with the preparedness can help defeat any threats.

Source: Taiwan CDC

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Docsun Clinical AI Laboratory

Docsun Clinical AI Laboratory is a social initiative working on Artificial Intelligence powered Covid-19 Rapid Testing technology.