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Coronavirus

Taiwan's battle against coronavirus began in late 2019

But medics insist island needs to keep its guard up to prevent second wave

Commuters wear face masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus during morning rush hour traffic in Taipei on Wednesday.   © Reuters

TAIPEI -- While most Taiwanese were focused on the presidential election at the start of the year, many doctors and epidemiologists were picking up on an unusual surge of pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan -- the epicenter of the novel coronavirus.

"Right at the start of 2020, all front-line doctors at medical centers received an official alert, following a warning by the Centers of Disease Control asking us to be attentive if we encountered patients with symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat and runny nose," Lin, a pulmonologist at a national medical center in Taipei, told the Nikkei Asian Review. "We had to ask those patients their travel history, occupation and contact history."

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