In its latest soft power approach to global politics, Taiwan will donate 10 million face masks to nations badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Wednesday afternoon speech delivered at the Presidential Office, incumbent, Tsai Ing-wen, the president indicated Taiwan’s high levels of mask production were behind the move.
Not only does the latest donation to countries particularly hard hit by he coronavirus help bring attention to Taiwan’s successful efforts at preventing mass outbreaks on the island, it will in turn help spotlight Taipei’s bid for World Health Organization recognition and admission.
A day prior to the announcement, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs said that the national daily mask production levels had reached 13 million. Taiwan is home to around 24 million people.
This figure is four times greater than national output of masks in early February when the COVID-19 pandemic was just starting to emerge, and Taiwan’s efforts to help nations around the world were continually ignored by the WHO.
In the wake of President Tsai’s announcement, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu went on to say that Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies would be the first to receive masks.
It is also understood that the U.S. – soon to receive 100,000 masks each week from Taiwan – as well as select European Union countries could benefit.
As of 1630 on Wednesday, April 1st, Taiwan’s Center For Disease Control had recorded 329 confirmed cases of the virus nationwide with five deaths. Over 32,000 have been tested to date.