Taiwanese groups donate face masks to Philippines

04/02/2020 03:40 PM
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TCAP Supervisor Edison Lin (林坤城, third left) and TCAP Vice President Jack Hsieh (謝嘉卿, second right)
TCAP Supervisor Edison Lin (林坤城, third left) and TCAP Vice President Jack Hsieh (謝嘉卿, second right)

Manila, April 2 (CNA) Two Taiwanese groups in the Philippines have donated urgently needed surgical face masks to the government and a hospital here to help in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus disease.

The Taiwanese Compatriot Association in the Philippines (TCAP) handed over 5,000 surgical face masks to the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday.

TCAP Supervisor Edison Lin (林坤城) said the group is committed to donating a total of 10,000 surgical masks to the Philippines but will do so in two batches due to supply issues.

The donations are aimed at assisting the Philippines in its battle against the coronavirus and promoting goodwill between the people of Taiwan and the Philippines, Lin said.

TCAP Vice President Jack Hsieh (謝嘉卿) told CNA that the COVID-19 outbreak has significantly impacted the lives of people in the Philippines, including Taiwanese businessmen, especially in Metro Manila.

"Everyone is confined at home due to the community quarantine measures," said Hsieh, who runs a Taiwanese fast food chain in the Philippines. "We can't work. Workers who receive their salary on a weekly basis and have no savings may run short of cash soon."

He said Taiwanese businessmen in the Philippines are doing their best to help.

"For instance, our company has just distributed food packs and other daily necessities to our employees," Hsieh said.

Meanwhile, the Taiwanese Association Philippines (TAP), a group of Taiwanese businessmen, on Tuesday donated 10,000 surgical masks to the Philippine General Hospital, one of the medical facilities designated by the government as a COVID-19 treatment center.

TAP President Huang Ya-Hui (黃雅惠, center) and Manila Economic and Cultural Office Senior Adviser Daniel Laogan (留典輝, first left).
TAP President Huang Ya-Hui (黃雅惠, center) and Manila Economic and Cultural Office Senior Adviser Daniel Laogan (留典輝, first left).

The donations by the two Taiwanese groups come at a time when the Philippines is facing a serious shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers, as COVID-19 continues to surge here.

According to CNN, at least 17 doctors on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle in the Philippines had died as of March 31, with the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) citing a lack of protective equipment as one of the possible reasons.

As of Thursday, the Philippines had reported over 2,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 96 deaths.

(By Angie Chen and Emerson Lim)

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