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Taiwan’s global COVID-19 support efforts in Belize bolster case for inclusion in World Health Organization

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Posted: Friday, May 1, 2020. 6:15 pm CST.

By BBN Staff:  This week, Ambassador of Taiwan in Belize, Remus Li-Kuo Chen handed over 6 Infrared Thermal Imaging Cameras to the Ministry of Health of Belize.

H.E. Chen informed that the cameras can be used to track and detect the body temperatures of more than 10 people at the same time and will soon be installed to help border control officers and hospital administrators to identify visitors who might have a fever.

“ These first-ever-used equipment will be given to and used by KHMH in Belize City, Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk as well as PGIA, Northern Border and Western Border. Realizing the GOB’s important task of this difficult fight against COVID-19 is definitely not over yet, our Embassy sincerely hopes that these cameras come in a timely fashion to serve well with their technological functions at checkpoints with high influx of people across the country,” a statement from the Ambassador said.

Taiwan quickly stepped in to assist Belize and share vital information and experience of their own fight against COVID-19.

On March 25, Taiwan made its first donation to the Government of Belize to purchase Personal Protective Equipment and testing kits.

Following that on March 30 the first video conference was held between doctors and health officials of the two countries with real on-site best practice and knowledge exchanged for hospitals dealing with COVID-19 patients.

On April 9, Taiwan Government donated $2 million Belizean dollars to the Government of Belize for the emergency funding in the purchase of the needed medical supplies.

Then on April 14, 60,000 “Made in Taiwan” surgical masks arrived in Belize for the medical personnel and frontline workers.

The third financial donation for the Ministry of Health to purchase 200,000 more face masks, 40 portable pulse oximeters, 400,000 disposal gloves and other laboratory supplies took place on April 16.

Ambassador Chen said that the funds summed a total of BZ $2.5 million and was a goodwill gesture from Taiwan to help Belize with sufficient resources to fight against the devastating pandemic.

Thereafter, 2 more video meetings and one TV interview were also held to share further the successful Taiwan Model in containing the spread of COVID-19, with only 429 confirmed cases, 6 deaths, out of 62,368 people tested up until April 29.

Ambassador Chen also shared Taiwan’s experience in 2003 with the SARS outbreak.

“We learned the lesson with casualties and immeasurable cost! As a result, when information concerning a novel pneumonia outbreak was first confirmed on December 31, 2019, Taiwan took a series of quick responses such as implementing onboard quarantine of direct flights from Wuhan, establishing a response team and activating the Central Epidemic Command Center, temporarily banning the export of surgical masks meanwhile increasing the machinery to meet domestic demand, launching a name-based rationing system for mask purchase. These measures have helped Taiwan achieve effective allocation of limited resources and suffice healthcare, epidemic prevention, household, and industrial needs. Hence, since April Taiwan started to contribute and provide its surgical masks for free to its diplomatic allies and like-minded countries. Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping,” Ambassador Chen added.

The Ambassador said that Taiwan, though not a member of WHO (World Health Organization), cannot stand alone and must be included in the fight against such threats and challenges.

“The 23 million people of Taiwan with heartfelt gratitude would like to thank Belize for your long term staunch support in Taiwan’s aspiration to be included in WHO and full participation in WHO’s meetings, mechanisms and activities., even more so this year when the whole world is still suffering from this catastrophic disease causing losses of unprecedented number of lives in a century,” Ambassador expressed.

The Taiwan embassy extended gratitude to all front line workers and pledged that Taiwan will continue to stand firm with Belize not just fighting together against the pandemic, but also pursuing the shared goal of economic prosperity and social stability post COVID-19. It may not be a short and easy journey, yet Taiwan and Belize bonded with solidarity will be reborn with greater strength after weathering this public health crisis, the ambassador said.

 

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