2020 Taiwan-Canada Novel Coronavirus Exchange Webinar
Taiwan’s prevention measures against the novel coronavirus and development of rapid screening technology have garnered much international attention. Through “New Challenge of COVID-19 for New Normal” webinar, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has invited researchers from both Taiwan and Canada to share their findings and to seek opportunities for more international collaboration.
So far, more than 70,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Canada. To contain the current outbreak and provide better protection to the general public, the Canadian federal government has announced its plan to invest a combined sum of more than CAD$1.2 billion (approximately NTD$27 billion) in March and April to support rapid response experiments and to facilitate manufacturing of testing devices and vaccines. This funding is not limited to clinical trials, it also promotes studies of the psychological and social impacts on frontline medical workers, offering a new perspective of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Canadian public.
Today’s webinar was organized by Executive Director Peter Pan of the Science and Technology Division in Canada. Three researchers from the National Research Council Canada (NRC), University of British Columbia (UBC), Academia Sinica and a visiting scholar from National Chiayi University (NCYU) were asked to deliver keynote speeches on rapid screening, prediction model, and the emotional impacts on employees working remotely during lockdown in Canada, with opening remarks by Deputy Minister Dar-Bin Shieh.
Deputy Minister Shieh spoke about Taiwan’s robust R&D capability based on years of fundamental research playing a key role in developing a rapid screening kit, the isolation of virus strain, and the replication of Remdesivir. This provides further credibility to the critical nature of scientific advancement in enabling Taiwan’s remarkable success in the fight against COVID-19. About 60 scholars from Taiwan and Canada participated in today’s webinar.