What caused Taiwan’s deadly Covid-19 surge? Complacency, that’s what
During its lull, the country should have ramped up vaccinations, improved testing and boosted hospital capacity
Taiwan won plaudits for its successful containment of Covid-19 last year, which made its recent virus resurgence all the more surprising. Data show it was unusually deadly as well.
While the country has seen fewer than 800 Covid-19 deaths, 500 of them occurred in June alone, amid its biggest virus wave to date. The pathogen got through the stringent border curbs that had kept local infections at bay for most of 2020, seeding an outbreak that tore through the then-largely unvaccinated elderly population.
This pushed the case-fatality ratio to as high as that seen in Italy and the UK in the first months of 2020, when the disease was a mystery. Overall, Taiwan’s fatality rate of cases to deaths since the pandemic began is 5%, much higher than nearby Hong Kong’s 1.8% and the 0.1% rate in Singapore...