Taiwan, on Wednesday, donated six thermal imaging devices and 40,000 surgical masks to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to be used in the fight against COVID-19.
At a handing over ceremony in Kingstown, Taiwan ambassador to SVG, Calvin Ho, said that the devices are usually deployed to airports, seaports, or maybe hospitals or some public facilities.
“Mainly, its function is that for those frontline personnel who can monitor all the guests or passengers coming into the public facilities, coming into the door of your country, because, always, body heat is one of the good signs by which we can judge people’s health condition,” the diplomat said.
He said the devices can be used to pick up fever and health professionals can order further check-up on passengers.
“And this will make the frontline officers do their job easier and make their work more effective,” he said.
Regarding the facemask, Ho said they are surgical masks of very high quality.
“… it’s actually the same, same quality that we use in in Taiwan. So I believe this also can provide very good protection for your personnel, especially for those frontline personnel at hospitals or at airports,” he said.
Ho, who wore a mask at the event, said that Taiwan’s experience has shown that wearing a facemask is a very effective way to prevent the spread out of COVID-19.
“So I’m very, very glad that today we have a good amount of these face masks,” he said.
“… they represent our friendship to your beautiful country. I want to say that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is always one of our best allies and today, this is only one step for our support.”
Ho said that Taiwan believes very deeply that every country is entitled to health.
“To reach that goal, we need to do it individually — by single country, bilaterally — country to country — and also multilaterally — among countries, maybe through international organizations.
“So that goal, health for all is also the goal of World Health Organization, the same goal,” Ho said.
He, therefore, thanked the government and Minister of Health Senator Luke Browne for supporting Taiwan’s attempt to participate in the World Health Assembly again.
Last year, China blocked Taiwan’s participation in the global body.
“… As I said, working together, Taiwan can contribute to make contribution to the international community, so that we all will have a safer international community and so that we can reach the goal of health for all,” Ho said.
In his comments, Browne said that Taiwan and SVG have been involved in combating matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health minister said Taiwan has demonstrated great competence in the fight against the disease.
“And I believe that it is to our credit and advantage that we have them as a partner,” he said.
He said that Taiwan donated a significant quantity of medical supplies to his ministry and items, which, in general, are necessary to implement some of the infection prevention and control measures contemplated by the ministry.
“They also contributed to our education and risk communication campaign in some of the work that they have done with the ministry,” he said.
The minister said that his ministry has also benefited from courses of training in association with health professionals from Taiwan and learning from their experience in combating COVID-19 and in general expertise in dealing with coronaviruses.
He said Taiwan’s perspective was very useful, especially as they are very close to China, the source of the outbreak of this disease.
“So we are very happy to have an ally like this and for us to see another dimension of support being manifested in this ceremony this morning.”