WHO’s focus at all times is to ensure that all areas of the globe have the information they need to manage the health of their people.
In a recent interview, the WHO official who headed the joint international mission to China, did not answer a question on Taiwan’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the WHO said in a statement.
The question of Taiwanese membership in WHO is up to WHO Member States, not WHO staff. However, WHO is working closely with all health authorities who are facing the current coronavirus pandemic, including Taiwanese health experts.
“The Taiwanese caseload is low relative to population. We continue to follow developments closely. WHO is taking lessons learned from all areas, including Taiwanese health authorities, to share best practices globally,” the statement said.
With respect to the COVID-19 outbreak, the WHO Secretariat works with Taiwanese health experts and authorities, following established procedures, to facilitate a fast and effective response and ensure connection and information flow.
There is a Taiwanese International Health Regulations Point of Contact, who receives IHR (2005) communications and has access to the Event Information Site (EIS) Platform (a password-protected database and information exchange mechanism supporting the IHR (2005)).
The Taiwanese Field Epidemiology Training Program is a member of the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (also known as “TEPHINET”). WHO shares Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network alerts and requests for assistance with TEPHINET, and those messages are cascaded to the TEPHINET members, the statement said.
Two Taiwanese public health experts participated in the Global Research and Innovation Forum organized by WHO on February 11-12 last, thus contributing, alongside other world scientists, including from mainland China, to critical research questions and to finding ways to work together to advance the response, it said.
WHO staff work around the world to respond to this pandemic with the best evidence-based guidance and operational support available for all people, based on public health needs. Membership in WHO and status issues are decided by Member States and the rules they set at WHO’s governing body, the World Health Assembly, the statement added.