Taiwanese have donated more than NT$10 million (US$329,946) to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, following an appeal for help by a Yilan-based Italian priest to save his “other homeland.”
Catholic Father Giuseppe Didone on Wednesday issued a public letter asking for donations to be made to the fundraising center of Camillian Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong to purchase emergency provisions, including surgical masks and protective gowns, for medical personnel in Italy.
Didone yesterday expressed his gratitude and said that he was touched by the love shown by Taiwanese.
Photo: Chang Yi-chen, Taipei Times
While state-funded hospitals in Italy are mostly adequately supplied, many local clinics are suffering from massive shortages of masks, ventilators, protective gowns and medication, Didone said on Thursday.
Following the appeal, many Taiwanese wired money or made donations in person, among them a 83-year-old woman surnamed Ho (何).
She yesterday went to the hospital to donate eight masks and her week’s earnings of NT$800 from selling vegetables.
The fundraising deadline is April 15, the hospital said.
Didone, who came to Taiwan in 1965, established special care centers for intellectually disabled people in Penghu and Yilan counties, and serves at the hospital in Yilan’s Luodong Township (羅東).
In separate news, two Czech politicians have thanked Taiwan for donating medical equipment to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in the Czech Republic.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday posted a video on its Facebook page, in which Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib and Czech Senator Jiri Drahos thanked Taiwan after the nation on Monday last week announced the donation of 10 million masks to countries seriously affected by the outbreak, including the Czech Republic.
Taiwan also donated 25 pulmonary ventilators and other equipment, such as ventilator filters, medical visors and disinfectant spray, to the Central European country.
“Thank you very much also for the donation of ventilators. They will be used to save lives in our hospitals,” Hrib said.
Hrib added that Taiwan’s success in its fight against the outbreak has been inspiring for the residents of Prague.
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