Despite the lack of an official invitation, a Taiwanese delegation is to leave at midnight tomorrow for the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday.
The government will work with health and medical associations from around the world to host forums outside the assembly meeting that focus on issues related to antibiotic resistance, dental care for elderly patients and strengthening healthcare systems, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who is to lead the delegation.
The topic of this year’s WHA meeting is universal health coverage and as Taiwan is a world leader in universal health coverage, it us to jointly host with the World Medical Association a forum on the topic, he said.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Chen also responded to a statement by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office yesterday, which said that Taiwan did not receive an invitation because the Democratic Progressive Party government refuses to acknowledge the so-called “1992 consensus,” and accused Taiwan of “playing the sympathy card” to gain support from other nations.
“We are going to the WHA to make contributions and are not playing the ‘sympathy card,’” Chen said. “We are playing the ‘anger’ and ‘soft power’ cards. [China] should not use politics to harm the interests of Taiwanese.”
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation as to what “China” means.
The government is dissatisfied and disappointed at the lack of an invitation, Chen said, adding that the nation’s allies are to make strongly worded statements at the assembly to protest the decision to exclude Taiwan.
Nevertheless, the delegation would seek to have more exchanges with healthcare officials worldwide to teach more nations about Taiwan’s medical achievements, Chen said.
Although Taiwan is not a WHO member, it would score 85 points on the organization’s public risk indicator, which would place it in the same category as Japan, South Korea, Canada, Singapore and other nations with quality healthcare systems.
“If I run into the WHO secretary-general this year, I will directly ask him why his organization decided to disregard the health of 23 million Taiwanese,” Chen said.
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
‘HEROIC’: A lack of personal protective equipment has led to high infection rates among health workers in places like Spain and Italy, a nurses’ association said More equipment is needed to protect the world’s nurses working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives, the head of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said. “They are heroic. I think there is no other way to describe what they are doing at this moment,” said Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the council’s CEO. Infection rates of 9 percent and 12 to 14 percent have been reported among health workers in Italy and Spain respectively, he said, adding that nurses have died in the two nations, as well as Iran and Indonesia. “We have no doubt
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo