Taipei, Feb. 10 (CNA) A Taiwanese businessman drove hundreds of kilometers from a city in the sealed-off Chinese province of Hubei amid a deadly epidemic outbreak to pick up special medicine for a Taiwanese child suffering from hemophilia trapped in the city, demonstrating that love of compatriots knows no bounds even in the direst of situations.
Chien Chun-nan (簡俊男), head of the association of Taiwanese businesspeople in Jingmen (荊門), Hubei Province, helped complete a medicine delivery undertaken by the Taipei-based Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF) Sunday, SEF Vice Chairman Yao Jen-to (姚人多) said in a post on his Facebook page.
"Just now, Chien of the Jingmen Taiwan business association successfully handed the shots of hemophilia medicine to the mother" of the sick child, Yao wrote in a message posted early Monday morning.
Many people, but especially the leaders of Taiwan business associations are to thank for the successful completion of the "thousand mile" drug delivery mission, he said.
Yao revealed that after receiving an appeal from the parents of the young Taiwanese hemophiliac in Hubei, the center of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, SEF asked Chien if he could pick up the medicine, delivered from Taiwan to Zhengzhou (鄭州) in neighboring Henan Province, 500 kilometers from Jingmen.
After learning about the urgency of the situation, Chien promised he would do everything in his power to help: "If necessary, I will go to Zhengzhou myself," Yao quoted Chien as saying, noting it was that promise that made the mission possible.
Under time pressure, one of his SEF colleagues volunteered to deliver the medicine from Kaohsiung to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, where Mandarin Airlines agreed to ship it to Zhengzhou on Sunday, Yao said, extending special thanks to the Taiwanese carrier for being willing to help.
Soon after the airplane arrived in Zhengzhou, the Taiwan business association in the city had someone pick up the medicine at the airport and drove to the provincial border to hand the medicine to Chien, who was waiting there, according to Yao.
He explained that under China's stringent anti-epidemic border controls, no vehicles in Henan are allowed to cross into other provinces.
Chien then drove back to Jingmen to deliver the shots to the mother, by which time it was already several minutes past midnight, Yao wrote, adding that after the trip Chien had to drive other 120 kilometers home.
"Tonight I extended special thanks to him (Chien), who told me on the telephone that 'no thanks are needed, this is what anyone should do.'"
Yao said most leaders of Taiwan business associations in China are like Chien, prepared to spare no effort to help fellow countrymen in need.
"Thank you all. I want to deliver my heartfelt thanks to the Taiwanese business people who helped their compatriots in China during this challenging time," he wrote.
According to SEF, the semi-official intermediate organization that handles cross-strait affairs in the absence of governmental links, the father of the hemophiliac appealed for help on Jan. 27, saying that his wife and child flew to Jingmen for a family reunion on Jan. 19, five days before the city was sealed off amid the 2019-nCoV outbreak.
Being a severe hemophiliac, his son needs weekly shots of an innovative medicine that is used to prevent hemorrhaging, the father who resides in Kaohsiung said, and such medicine is not yet available in China. His son had only one last dose left for Feb. 8, SEF officials said at a press briefing on Monday.
The mother and son were not included on a chartered flight commissioned to evacuate Taiwanese people from Wuhan back to Taiwan on Feb. 3.
Although 247 people did return, the flight has been criticized by some for prioritizing not those in need but to people with privilege.