MOFA official conscious after heart attack at Presidential Office

10/10/2018 07:43 PM
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Tang Ji-zen (湯繼仁), Taiwan
Tang Ji-zen (湯繼仁), Taiwan's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic who now works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA) Department of Protocol / CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) A senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official responsible for receiving foreign dignitaries at National Day celebrations on Wednesday has regained consciousness after having a heart attack at the Presidential Office.

Tang Ji-zen (湯繼仁), Taiwan's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic who now works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA) Department of Protocol, fainted before the celebrations officially began, according to MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章).

After being rushed to the nearby Heping branch of Taipei City Hospital and receiving emergency treatment, Tang regained consciousness but remains hospitalized, Lee said.

Chien Li-chien (簡立建), director of emergency medicine at the hospital's Heping branch, said Tang arrived at the hospital at around 9 a.m. and was diagnosed as having suffered an OHCA (out-of-hospital cardiac arrest).

He regained consciousness after about 50 minutes of emergency treatment but is still relatively unstable and has been transferred to National Taiwan University Hospital for further observation, Chien said.

A source familiar with the incident told CNA that Tang has previously undergone heart bypass surgery.

During the national day celebrations, the ministry arranged for him to accompany former South African President F. W. de Klerk at the Presidential Office ahead of the main ceremony, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity since the person was not authorized to comment publicly on the issue.

A guard at the Presidential Office was there when Tang fainted before the ceremony and an ambulance was immediately called to take him to a nearby hospital.

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) visited Tang at National Taiwan University Hospital and conveyed his best wishes to Tang and his family, the source added.

Tang served as Taiwan's ambassador to the Dominican Republic from October 2015 to May 2018 before Taiwan announced it was cutting diplomatic ties with the Caribbean country after it switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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