The US Mission in Geneva on Friday urged WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite Taiwan to a major meeting that the body is to host next week, with the focus expected to be on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We encourage the WHO to expand its efforts to offer Taiwan increased meaningful cooperation and collaboration with the organization, and this would be a needed step in that direction,” the mission said in a statement.
Washington has been deeply critical of the WHO and Tedros for its handling of the pandemic, saying it is too close to China.
It has said it might withdraw from the world health body.
Backed by the US, Taiwan this year has stepped up lobbying to again take part in the World Health Assembly (WHA) — the WHO’s decisionmaking body — as an observer.
Taiwan, which was praised internationally for quickly containing the novel coronavirus, was not invited to an earlier meeting by the same body in May and it agreed to put off the issue until later in the year.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked World Medical Association Council chairman Frank Montgomery for his open letter on Wednesday to Tedros urging the WHO to invite Taiwan to the WHA as an observer.
The association made a similar call in April.
Separately, after 102 members of the European Parliament and four German lawmakers in May issued an open letter calling for Taiwan to be included in the virtual WHA, 106 members of the European Council also wrote to Tedros on Thursday in support of Taiwan’s participation in the WHA as an observer.
On Thursday, the ministry said that 144 parliamentarians from the Central American Parliament (CAP) and across Latin America had issued a joint declaration supporting Taiwan’s WHO participation.
The parliamentarians, including CAP President Fanny Salinas Fernandez and National Assembly of Nicaragua President Gustavo Porras, made the call at the Formosa Club — a coalition of Taiwan friendship clubs — via video link, the ministry said in a statement.
They praised Taiwan for its success in fighting the pandemic and expressed support for its participation in the WHA, as well as at its technical meetings, programs and events, the ministry said.
Asked on Friday about next week’s WHA meeting, WHO principal legal officer Steven Solomon said: “Taiwanese involvement at the WHA as an observer continues to be a question for member states.”
The body has previously said that it has no mandate to invite Taiwan, as members disagree on the nation’s participation.
The virtual meeting of 194 member states is to begin tomorrow and run through Saturday.
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
TRACING TROUBLE: An infected man who had said that all his children were abroad was found to have a daughter in Kaohsiung who tested positive, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a new daily record of 29 local COVID-19 cases, including seven cases with unknown sources of infection. Of the 29 cases, 16 are linked to tea houses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing in Taipei. The 16 are tea house workers or visitors, or their contacts, the CECC said. Workers and visitors to the establishments have frequent interpersonal contact, but few protective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are in place, Chen said, urging those who have been exposed or have
GRID PROBLEM: A Taipower spokesman said that the blackouts were not due to usage exceeding supply, nor were they because of a problem at the Singda plant There were rolling blackouts across Taiwan yesterday due to a grid malfunction at the Singda Power Plant (興達電廠) in Kaohsiung’s Yongan District (永安), while Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said that it was working “as hard as possible to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” At 2:37pm, a malfunction at an ultra-high-voltage substation in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) triggered four generators at the Singda plant to go offline, cutting power output by 2.2 million kilowatts and prompting Taipower to initiate rolling blackouts nationwide as it worked on the problem. Taipower spokesman Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) told a news conference in Taipei that