Taiwan, Czech Republic forge partnership over COVID-19

04/02/2020 11:48 AM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, April 2 (CNA) Taiwan and the Czech Republic has forged a partnership to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, with efforts such as cooperation in the development and production of rapid tests and a possible vaccine, according to a joint statement issued by the two sides Wednesday.

According to the joint statement, posted by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on its website, both sides will also cooperate in the fields of research and production of anti-coronavirus drugs, transfer of technologies of medical devices, and contact tracing and travel histories.

Other cooperative measures include exchanges of best coronavirus-control practices and technologies, designation of a window for information-sharing and exchanges of medical supplies and equipment.

The joint statement was signed by Ke Liang-ruey (柯良叡), the head of Taiwan's representative office in the Czech Republic, and Patrick Rumlar, representative of the Czech Economic and Cultural Office (CECO) in Taipei.

"To further strengthen consultation and cooperation on combatting the COVID-19 virus, both offices will seek to mediate and share best practices and cooperation on a range of activities under a partnership," it said.

The MOFA welcomed what it described as "concrete actions" and described the Czech Republic as a partner with common ideals and values, while the CECO said the deal -- the first cooperation framework between Taiwan and any European countries -- shows that Taiwan's strengths in the health and medical fields are recognized by the international community.

Prior to this, on March 26, James Liao (廖俊智), president of Taiwan's Academia Sinica and Eva Zažímalová, chief of the Czech Academy of Sciences, discussed anti-coronavirus cooperation via video conference.

In a Facebook post that day, Liao said they touched on potential collaboration on developing rapid tests and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and changes it has set in motion, based on social and psychological research.

Earlier in mid-March, Taiwan and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) also issued a joint statement, announcing similar efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement was signed by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮).

(By Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim)

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