Face masks donated by Taiwan to Australia arrive in Victoria

09/15/2020 05:05 PM
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Australia's representative to Taiwan, Gary Cowan (left) receives a box of surgical face masks from Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang in this undated photo. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Taipei, Sept. 15 (CNA) A total of 500,000 surgical face masks donated by Taiwan to Australia arrived Monday in the state of Victoria, the hardest-hit Australian area in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.

The donation was the latest in a variety of cooperation between the two countries on COVID-19 prevention since the beginning of this year and an example of the slogan "Taiwan is helping" in the fight against the virus, the ministry said.

Taiwan and Australia exchanged key disease prevention supplies in March and held online seminars under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, an initiative launched by Taiwan and the United States in June 2015, the ministry added.

Australia is an important partner in Taiwan's New Southbound Policy and shares the values of democracy and freedom. The two countries will continue to strengthen cooperation in areas such as preventive medicine and biotechnology, the ministry said.

Australia's Department of Health website shows that the country recorded 26,692 COVID-19 infections, including 816 deaths and 23,573 recovered patients, the majority of which have been found in Victoria.

According to the Victoria State Department's statistics as of Monday, 19,872 infections were recorded, including 729 deaths, and 18,006 recovered patients, while the number of active cases peaked on Aug. 7.

On Aug. 2, Victoria introduced cross-state travel restrictions, the requirement to carry a face covering when outside one's home and a 9 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew (with various exceptions) for its state capital, Melbourne. During the curfew, people are not allowed to leave their homes.

(By Matt Yu and Kay Liu) enditem/J

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