Lessons from Managing the Covid-19 Pandemic: Singapore and Taiwan


About the Webinar

As we approach the one-and-a-half-year mark since the first cases of human transmission of the coronavirus (Covid-19) were identified in Wuhan, China, the pandemic rages on in many parts of the world. After instituting strict and prolonged lockdowns at great economic cost to try and contain community spread, many countries have recently had to deal with new waves of infection with the emergence of new variants. The race is on between a rapidly mutating virus and vaccine rollouts, with the latter sometimes delayed by bureaucracy and nationalism.

Singapore and Taiwan stand out in the Asian region that have done relatively well in managing the pandemic thus far. This webinar will consider the approach that each has taken, and the impact that it has had on health and economic outcomes. This is done in order to try and draw lessons for the many countries that still struggle with containing new waves of community spread, while trying not to derail fragile economic recoveries.

About the Speakers

Benjamin Ong is Senior Vice President (Health Education & Resources) at the National University of Singapore and a Senior Consultant Neurologist with the Division of Neurology, National University Hospital.

He has held various leadership positions in healthcare including headship of the Department of Medicine at the National University Hospital and the National University of Singapore, Chairman of the Medical Board of the National University Hospital and Chief Executive of the National University Health System. Assoc Professor Ong served as Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, Singapore from 2014 to January 2020.

Assoc Professor Ong received the National Day Public Administration Medal (Silver) for his leadership contributions in 2009. In 2013, he received the Long Service Medal by the President of the Republic of Singapore in recognition of his dedicated service. Then in 2015, he also received the Public Administration Gold Medal for outstanding efficiency, competence and industry. Professor Ong has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 2020.

Deborah Elms is the Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre. The Asian Trade Centre works with governments and companies to design better trade policies for the region. Dr Elms is President of the Asia Business Trade Association (ABTA). She served on the Trade and Investment Council of the World Economic Forum from 2017-2019, on the International Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA) and was Chair of the Working Group on Trade Policy and Law. She was also a senior fellow in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Trade Academy.

Previously, Dr Elms was head of the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations (TFCTN) and Senior Fellow of International Political Economy at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Dr Elms received a PhD in political science from the University of Washington, a MA in international relations from the University of Southern California, and bachelor’s degrees from Boston University. Dr Elms publishes the Talking Trade Blog.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Click on the unique link in your email.

If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


May 19 2021


10:30 am - 11:30 am