Elevent Palauan patients, as well as members of their families, are to board a charter flight home today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Taipei-based Shin Kong Wu Ho-shu Memorial Hospital, which has been assisting the Pacific ally with virus testing and treatment, would help with the patients’ transportation using disease prevention measures against the COVID-19, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing in Taipei yesterday.
After returning home, the Palauans would be isolated in local hotel rooms for 14 days and would be required to be tested for the novel coronavirus as stipulated by the Palauan Ministry of Health, she said.
The ministry did not respond to questions about when the 11 Palauans arrived in Taiwan and whether they came to the nation to be treated for COVID-19 specifically.
Taiwan and Palau have been working closely in the areas of medicine and healthcare, and because of humanitarian concerns and preventive measures, the ministry provided help to allied people first to manifest the idea that “Taiwan is helping,” Ou said.
The case was first revealed by Palauan President Tommy Remengesau’s office, which on Monday said in a news release that “Palauan residents, including a large number of college students from the University of Guam, and medical referral patients from Taiwan, will return to Palau on June 10 and 12.”
“For those coming home from Guam, they would have finished a 14-day mandatory quarantine, monitored daily for symptoms,” it said.
“Taiwan medical referral patients have been in a more controlled environment and do not undergo a 14-day quarantine, but they, too, will be tested 72 hours prior to departure,” it said.
The Pacific island nation, with a population of nearly 18,000, has not yet reported any confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Palauan Ministry of Health’s situation report said yesterday.
In related news, the foreign ministry said that Taiwan is still working with other nations to contain the pandemic and is donating medical supplies.
Since March, the ministry has helped convene 11 video conferences with Bahrain, Eswatini, Israel, Kuwait, Mongolia, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to discuss disease prevention, Department of West Asian and African Affairs Director Ali Yang (楊心怡) told the news briefing.
Domestic agencies involved in the virtual meetings were Academia Sinica, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Taipei Medical University Hospital, the Tri-Service General Hospital and the Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, he said.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
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