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Opinion

As we brace for COVID’s second wave, some simple lessons from Taiwan and South Korea 

By Joseph Wong      

Our economies cannot withstand another lockdown. We need to look to Taiwan and Korea for leadership, as we await and prepare for the next COVID-19 wave and future pandemics.  

A pedestrian crosses an almost empty O'Connor Street in downtown Ottawa on May 14, 2020. As the world braces for a second wave of disease—expected by epidemiologists around the world—what lessons can we learn from Taiwan and South Korea? Clear and consistent communication by the government was critical, writes Joseph Wong.

Taiwan and South Korea successfully managed the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, stemming the spread of the coronavirus and minimizing the number of deaths, all the while keeping their economies running. To date, there have been more than 11,000 confirmed COVID cases in Korea, though fewer than 300 deaths. Taiwan has recorded fewer than 500 COVID cases and just seven deaths.  

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