73.3 Overall Score (up 13.3 since Aug 1st.)


  • 75.7 Public Health
  • 58 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 75.7 Public Health
  • 58 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

Taiwan has a relatively strong policy score, but its minimal stimulus and weak debt relief bring it down. However, the data does not accurately measure its advanced contact tracing, which may have diminished the need for more restrictions; this likely results in a score that underestimates Taiwan’s response.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Taiwan scored well in pre-pandemic subcategories, but a lack of available data obscures the picture.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 35.1%
  • GDP/capita $57,214
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) NO DATA
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) NO DATA
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 77.6
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People NO DATA

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)

Public Health Directives

Taiwan has a very strong public health policy score, driven by its extremely effective contact tracing—demonstrated by a consistently low case rate—which resulted in very low case numbers that allowed Taiwan to not need more stringent policies.

  • Stay at home order 0
  • Public gathering restrictions 0
  • School closings 0
  • Public event cancellations 1
  • Testing policy 3
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $23.55
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 7.6
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Taiwan had a relatively strong financial response relative to its low number of cases early on, but it has since cut back its support.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 5.5%
  • Income support 1
  • Debt forebearance 1

Fact-Based Communication

Taiwan’s government is very strong in this category, as it has not engaged in misinformation or limited press freedom in response to COVID-19.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15

Taiwan has performed very strongly across all subcategories, with both a low death and case rate and a low positivity rate, likely boosted by its strong pre-pandemic capacity, and successful, tech-enabled response.

  • Total deaths 2
  • Death rate per 100K 0.1
  • Total cases 990
  • Cases per 100K 0
  • Percent of positive tests 0.5
  • Change in positivity rates -0.1
Case Trend Line
Daily cases
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Feb 25 Schools reopen 0.04
2 Mar 19 Foreign nationals forbidden from entering country 0.34
3 0.00

Differentiating Factors

  • Taiwan accuses China of blocking vaccine sales: In February, Taiwan accused China of preventing it from buying five million vaccines from BioNTech in December. Taiwan's vaccination rollout has been slower than those of many other countries, despite its success in containing the virus through other methods. Read More
  • Vaccine diplomacy in China: While the Taiwanese government has yet to begin its vaccination program, Beijing has announced a state program offering Taiwanese living in China priority for free-of-charge COVID-19 vaccinations. The move is seen as a way for the mainland to win greater support in Taiwan. Read More
  • Taiwan's cases much higher than official tally: A study by the Taipei Veteran's Hospital estimates that Taiwan's COVID-19 case numbers in the summer were 25 times the official tally, in a conclusion being questioned by the Central Epidemic Command Center. Read More
  • Taiwan's UN bid focuses on COVID-19 successes: Taiwan's campaign to rejoin the UN in 2020 will highlight its leadership in fighting COVID-19 and its commitment to multilateralism, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which plans to hold events alongside the UNGA in September. Read More
  • Government-run facemask production limited shortages: The Taiwanese government took control of face mask production and distribution in January, upping the country's daily production of masks to 10 million, and ensuring that every citizen could buy masks by initially rationing their distribution. Read More
  • Centralized healthcare system key to strong contact tracing: Taiwan's healthcare system is centralized and well-coordinated, which has supported its success in containing the virus. Big data analytics of infection hotspots, proactive testing, and comprehensive contact tracing have all been facilitated by the country's robust healthcare system and experience responding to the SARS crisis. Read More
  • High trust in government helped early on: A poll conducted by YouGov in May found that 80 percent of respondents had a high level of trust in the government and health authorities. This has been key, particularly in the early days of the pandemic. Read More
Compared with Other Island Nations
  • 38.3
    Indonesia 1,425,044
    Per 1M

    Indonesia scores relatively weakly, a big drop in the past few months, keyed by substantial weakening of travel restrictions, testing policy, and debt relief.

  • 72.7
    Japan 448,000
    Per 1M

    Japan has a strong overall score, driven by its generous financial response and a reliance on facts, although its public health policy is very weak.

  • 100
    New Zealand 2,432
    Per 1M

    New Zealand has had very strong policy, particularly with regard to its reliance on science and facts and its relatively strong financial response.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million