Taiwan’s COVID-19 prevention strategy has achieved good results, being one of the few countries in the world to have very few cases. However, the unexpected announcement of the “10,000-person Serum Antibody Test Project” by the National Taiwan University School of Public Health and the Changhua County Public Health Bureau has caused a national storm. While the mid-term research results were planned to be announced on August 25th, it was reported that the project’s funding would be suspended due to ethical flaws within the study. After a 2-day delay, the project leaders Professors Chang Chang-Chuan and Chen Hsiu-Hsi and Yeh Yen-Po, Director of the Changhua County Public Health Bureau, explained the preliminary results and findings of the serum antibody screening.
The researchers initially found that among the high-risk groups that have been in contact with confirmed cases, the ratio of asymptomatic cases was only 8.4 per 10,000 persons, proving that the Taiwanese community is “very safe.” However, the project’s research purpose, screening tools, and research ethics have caused a great deal of controversy and discussions. What are the risks of releasing preliminary research results? What reflections can be made by academic circles and the epidemic prevention community regarding this case?
Source: The Reporter