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Billed a COVID-19 success story as its economy boomed through the pandemic, Taiwan is now battling a record wave of infections as it eases restrictions that had kept outbreaks at bay to start life with the virus.

For the whole of 2021, Taiwan reported less than 15,000 locally transmitted cases. Now, it’s registering around 80,000 cases a day — a startling reversal after the effectiveness of its long-standing “COVID zero” policy won it international praise.

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