Why Have the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore Coped Well with COVID-19 and What Are the Lessons Learned from Their Experiences?

Jaewan Kim, Jongwoo Moon, Tae Yong Jung, Woojin Kim, Herim Clara Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated how three Asian countries–Republic of Korea (ROK), Republic of China (Taiwan), and Singapore–considered as standouts, responded to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in terms of governance system, health sector innovation, and social distancing to draw lessons that other countries can learn from. The countries were commonly in success of the response in early stage of the pandemic thanks to their effective and efficient strategies paired with advanced information and communications technology (ICT). Consequently, the three jurisdictions reported lower confirmed cases as well as fatality rate of the infectious disease compared to other high-income countries. In addition, the countries’ previous experiences with other pandemics, including influenza A, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, enabled them to establish resilient public health systems and gain public acceptance to governmental control or surveillance during national infectious disease-related crises outbreaks. Advanced ICT infrastructure and digital technology were used as effective tools for testing, tracing, and treatment of the pandemic in collaboration with the private sector as a crucial player. The ROK, Taiwan, and Singapore adopted different strategies between containment and mitigation policy to flatten the epidemic curves effectively according to their own situation and judgement. Despite the exemplary aspect of the three nations in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, a few limitations were also observed in terms of vaccination and unequal consequences of the pandemic among people. These should be further discussed in order to be prepared for future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors appreciate the support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in partnership with the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future (BKMF) in developing this knowledge product. We gratefully acknowledge Ms. Hyerin Bang and Ms. Hanyi Kim for their support for the collection of data and information of the case studies.

Publisher Copyright:
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2022.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Why Have the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore Coped Well with COVID-19 and What Are the Lessons Learned from Their Experiences?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this