Event — Webinar

The justification of Covid-19 health measures. The battle between the public and the individual

An online interactive lecture by Cha-Hsuan Liu.

The Lecture

In this webinar, Dr Cha-Hsuan Liu explains how public health policies are made that require balancing public and individual interests and how Covid-19 health measures are justified against the background of political, cultural and social constellations. To this end, she compares two identical public health approaches adopted in Taiwan and the Netherlands during the first year of the Covid crisis. 

A crucial difference between the Covid public health measures in Taiwan and the Netherlands lies in the original values held by both respective societies.

At the very beginning of the pandemic, Taiwan took early and aggressive measures to prevent an epidemic outbreak in Taiwan; the government demanded strict monitoring and compliance of its people. To date, 22,000 cases have been confirmed, with an official death toll of 853.

On the contrary, The Netherlands, similar in size to Taiwan, initially took comparatively mild measures that assigned much responsibility for the nation's collective health to the individual. The Dutch government pursued a severer policy of 'intelligent lockdown' only when the day-to-day numbers of Covid-19 deaths increased rapidly by one hundred per day. Ironically, Dutch residents have paid a high price for this unsupervised self-governance, with with more than 20,000 deaths.

In light of this, is it possible to identify what is needed for a successful public health policy to contain a pandemic in the very beginning? The speaker speculates that this reflection may be a treasurable reference for future pandemic management globally.

The Speaker

Dr Cha-Hsuan Liu is a researcher affiliated with the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS). She is a multi-passionate scholar who has shown her expertise and talent in interdisciplinary academic and advisory work, including health, social policy, education and innovation. Dr Liu is active in public talks and deeply commits herself to advocate equity, diversity, and inclusion domestically and globally. Most of her work concerns adequate healthcare and quality education for all, aiming to advance these goals by exchanging critical insights.