The television presenter has been an extremely vocal critic of the Government’s handling of the pandemic, most recently demanding a second full lockdown and attacking the recently-introduced three-tier system. But he has now retweeted a post from BBC Economics Editor Faisal Islam, who said Taiwan, which is the closest neighbouring country to Wuhan in China, where coronavirus is thought to have originated, has now been free of local transmission for more than six months, with a growing economy. Mr Islam tweeted: “Taiwan, closest neighbouring country to Wuhan, free of local transmission for 200 days with growing economy in 2020.
“Thanks to world class test & trace averaging 20-30 contacts per case; central distribution of masks & compliance; border control.”
In response, Piers Morgan said Taiwan had done everything the UK hadn’t in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, “and it worked”.
He also launched a scathing attack against the Government, claiming their shameful incompetence around their handling of the crisis is leading England into a second national lockdown.
The TV presenter tweeted: “So Taiwan did everything we didn’t do – and it worked.
“The British public needs to understand it’s the Govt’s appalling mis-management of this crisis that’s leading us into another lockdown.
“We have no choice because of their shameful incompetence.”
Taiwan holds the world’s best record on coronavirus and reached the landmark of 200 days free of local transmission today (Thursday) – even as the pandemic continues to ravage dozens of countries around the world.
The East Asia country experienced its last local case of COVID-19 back on April 12 and so far, there has been no second wave of infections.
READ MORE: London lockdown crisis: Tier 3 a matter of ‘when not if”
Dr Peter Collignon, an infectious disease physician and professor at the Australian National University Medical School, said: “Taiwan is the only major country that has so far been able to keep community transmission of COVID eliminated.”
He said Taiwan “probably had the best result around the world”, adding it’s “even more impressive” as the country has an economy with a population around the same size as Australia’s, with millions of people living close to each other in apartments.
But Boris Johnson and his Government are coming under increasing pressure for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic in England, warning current restrictions are “not sufficient” with infections doubling every nine days.
Preliminary data from the latest round of the Imperial College London React study has estimated there are some 96,000 new infections per day, while identifying early signs numbers in low-risk areas are following trends observed in the worst-affected regions.
Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College London, warned “we need to think about changing the approach”.
When asked if this means increasing local lockdowns or national restrictions, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think what our study shows is there would be genuine benefits to some kind of national policy.
“In that we could prevent the pattern in the South turning into the current pattern in the North and bring about a reversal in the North as quickly as possible.
“If we’re going to end up using those restrictions that have been brought in elsewhere in Europe today and yesterday… we should think about timing. And sooner is better than later for these.
“There has to be a change. The rate of growth that we’re seeing in these data is really quite rapid, so one way or another there has to be a change before Christmas.
“We’ve fairly reliably measured a slight decrease in R (reproduction number) in our interim round five, now we have measured a slight increase in R, and the slight increase in R means that current measures are not sufficient.”