The government is to work with like-minded nations to help Honduras combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, after the Central American nation said that it would purchase vaccines from China.
Honduras, with a population of about 9.75 million, has reported 220,988 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 5,701 deaths.
“El Salvador will help us break the geopolitical blockade and buy the vaccine from mainland China,” the Honduran Ministry of Health wrote on Twitter on Monday. “Honduras offers to pay for as many as they can obtain for our people.”
In a separate post, the Honduran ministry said that it was “grateful to friendly countries that do not politicize the pandemic,” citing Israel, which donated Honduras’ first 6,000 vaccine doses, and Russia, which has said it would send 40,000 doses of its Sputnik V jab this week.
“In the past, we donated medicines and some biosecurity material to El Salvador [and] now El Salvador is helping us to break the blockade,” it said.
Honduras is one of Taipei’s 15 diplomatic allies. El Salvador switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 2018.
In Taipei, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) yesterday said that Honduras is facing a health crisis, as it has not yet received all of the vaccine doses it ordered through the global COVAX platform.
Asked about Honduras’ plan to purchase Chinese vaccines via El Salvador, Ou said that the ministry has been monitoring related developments.
Procuring vaccines is a humanitarian issue and should not be used as a tool for political maneuvering, she said.
Taiwan would continue to work with like-minded nations to assist Honduras in its fight against the pandemic, Ou said, adding that ties are firm, and the two nations have been working closely together based on their shared values of democracy and freedom.
Additional reporting by AFP
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