In this paper, Dr. Virginia Bacay Watson highlights the steps taken by five countries to minimize the spreading of COVID-19 through a common thread of effective preparation, quick actions and effective, trusted leadership, despite different approaches.

Excerpt:
All told, the quick, early, and decisive actions of the governments of Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam enabled them to manage the coronavirus spread. A legacy of a robust health-care infrastructure provided a point of departure for assessing additional requirements and priorities in both Germany and Taiwan. A legacy of experience and lessons learned with the MERS and/or SARS epidemics allowed South Korea and Taiwan to activate existing mechanisms already in place. The public-supported “go early, go hard” strategies of New Zealand, Taiwan and Vietnam accounted for a low number of cases at the onset. In all of the cases, leaders fully appreciated the severity of the situation and quickly developed responses that were timely and appropriate.

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