Role-Model Countries: How The World has Effectively Prevented The Spread


The virus we have all been experiencing, and that is slowly yet promisingly coming to an end, has been a worldwide phenomenon. It has affected the people, cultures, economies, healthcare and education systems, and governments of each and every country, no matter which way you slice it. 

Countries across the globe have all made varying attempts to prevent the spread of Covid, some resulting in utmost failure, and others causing outcomes that other countries could learn and benefit from. Three countries in particular- Taiwan, New Zealand, and Iceland- serve as models of success. 



Starting in East Asia, Taiwan, with a comparatively large population of around 23 million, has had as few as 912 cases and 8 deaths in total. This comes as no surprise, as Taiwan was already testing and quarantining those coming from China (Wuhan specifically) before Coronavirus had even registered for any other government. 

The first thing to notice about Taiwan’s handling of the virus is border control. They began shutting down to non-residents as soon as the pandemic broke out in January and have kept strict control over their borders since. This is definitely a big contributor to the continual success of the country. 

Another key to Taiwan’s impressive efforts is their central mask distribution and stockpiling. From the get-go, Taiwan stockpiled all domestically produced face masks and banned export, increased production rates, and implemented an efficient system of distribution.

The last reason Taiwan found success was their natural advantage: the terrible experiences the country has had with viruses in the past. The SARS infection of 2003 badly affected the country, and a few more after that didn’t cause any less damage. As a result, citizens of Taiwan are acutely aware of safety, and the government is much more experienced. 


New Zealand 

Considering New Zealand’s grand population of approximately 5 million, as few as 2,307 cases and 25 deaths is definitely record-breaking. 

Despite their geographic isolation, the government knew early on that the virus was imminent, and disease models indicated that they could expect the pandemic to spread widely. In quick response to this, New Zealand began implementing its pre-prepared influenza pandemic plan as early as February of 2020 and, as did Taiwan, instituted border control policies almost instantly. 

By March, it was clear that the country didn’t have sufficient testing or capacity to contain the virus. So, informed by strong, science-based advocacy, national leaders cleverly switched from a mitigation to an elimination strategy. 

In addition to imposing a lockdown, the government instituted a spending program to support the business and incomes of employees.



Today’s last honorable mention is none other than Iceland. With a population of just about 356,991, of course, one of the components of the low rates is their small population, but this is also due to the consistent efforts and early action of the Icelandic government. 

According to sources, health officials quickly rushed in to contain the spread earlier than many countries, and the government built a team of contact tracers almost right away. This team would interview those with a positive diagnosis, and track down people they’d been in contact with. As a result of this vigilance, the country has not yet faced a single large-scale lockdown. 


In summary, each country’s ability to institute an instant response, border control, consideration of the population and their wellness and needs, efficient systems, and continued referencing to scientific research granted them more mercy from this virus than others.

Covid has not been defeated yet, but we can reflect on these inspirational successes, and continue to maintain our safety and sensible attitudes during this time. We’ve all come a long way, despite varying outcomes, and hopefully can look back proudly on the lessons that we’ve learned, as both countries and individuals.