Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is to offer humanitarian assistance to nations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by sending them masks and medicine, as well as sharing with them an electronic system that the government has been using to track down people that need to be quarantined, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.
With the nation’s daily production having reached 13 million masks and soon to reach 15 million, the government is to donate 10 million masks to medical personnel in nations most severely affected by the coronavirus, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei.
The nation would donate more masks when production capacity permits, she added.
With a number of clinical reports concluding that quinine can help treat patients with mild symptoms, the government has asked pharmaceutical companies to increase production of the medication so that it can contribute to the supplies of nations in need, Tsai said.
The nation is also to provide technological support, by sharing with other nations a system that uses “big data” to accurately locate people that have come into close contact with those that have tested positive for COVID-19, effectively curbing the spread of the coronavirus, she said.
When the outbreak first occurred, Taiwan had formed a “national team” to combat COVID-19, which is now ready to join the international community in an all-out effort to fight the pandemic, she added.
Photo courtesy of American Institute in Taiwan
Taiwan will step up its cooperation with other nations and not sit idly by while the global fight against the coronavirus continues, Tsai said, adding that the nation is already helping its diplomatic allies, enabling their citizens to acquire medical supplies locally.
“Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping,” Tsai said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said that the nation is to make a one-time donation of 2 million masks to the US on top of a weekly donation of 100,000 previously announced.
Photo: screen grab from Facebook
The nation is to donate 7 million masks to the most-affected nations in the EU, as well as to the UK and Switzerland, it said.
It is also to donate 1 million masks to its diplomatic allies, it added.
Academia Sinica and the nation’s leading vaccine companies have entered into talks with the US, the EU, Canada and the Czech Republic on collaborating to develop testing kits and vaccines, the ministry said.
The ministry has collaborated with private firms to donate ventilators, ventilator filters, masks and disinfectant to hospitals in the Czech Republic, it said, while Catholic groups have donated goggles, masks, endotracheal tubes and mucus extractors to Italy.
The British Office Taipei, the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office, the French Office in Taipei and the Polish Office in Taipei thanked the nation for its help on social media.
“#Taiwanhelps is the new hashtag,” European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan Director Filip Grzegorzewski yesterday wrote on Twitter, also thanking Taiwan.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) shared photographs of AIT Director Brent Christensen meeting Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) with the comment: “Taiwan is a real friend.”
In related news, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Prague and the Czech Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei issued a joint statement listing eight areas of bilateral cooperation on COVID-19.
Additional reporting by Lin Chia-nan
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of