The Medtecs Group (美德醫療集團) and a charity foundation affiliated with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) are to deliver thousands of sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help diplomatic allies and nations friendly toward Taiwan protect themselves from COVID-19, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

With the assistance of the government, the TSMC Charity Foundation and Medtecs yesterday began shipping the PPE to Eswatini, Saint Lucia and Somaliland, the ministry said in a news release.

Gathered by the enterprises’ charitable funds, the PPE batches include 150,000 masks, 6,000 sets of caps and shoe covers, 7,000 protective coveralls, 11,000 medical gowns and 1,500 gowns for airline passengers, the ministry said, adding that the PPE would be distributed to local governments, medical facilities and disadvantaged groups.

Last year, the TSMC charitable fund distinguished itself by leading private-sector efforts to supply frontline medical workers in Taiwan and other countries with PPE, it said.

The two enterprises also provided Taiwan’s diplomatic staff and their families with air travel gowns, it added.

The ministry thanked the private sector for assisting the government in realizing the “Taiwan can help” diplomatic vision, saying that Taiwan is helping by ensuring that its friends can fight the virus.

In related news, King Mswati III of Eswatini said that he recovered from COVID-19 after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) sent him antiviral medication.

The kingdom in southern Africa, formerly known as Swaziland, is Taiwan’s only remaining diplomatic ally on the continent, and Taipei has provided it with considerable aid.

The kingdom is still waiting for vaccines to arrive, the king said in a speech on Friday, adding that he tested positive for COVID-19 for “a couple of days” at the beginning of last month, but that he is negative now.

“I am grateful to the president of the Republic of China on Taiwan for sending through this medication to treat me,” he said, using Taiwan’s formal name in the speech, which was posted on the kingdom’s official Twitter account.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that upon hearing that the king had contracted COVID-19, Tsai arranged medical assistance for him.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is gratified to hear that the king of Eswatini successfully recovered under care from Taiwanese and Swazi medical personnel,” Ou said.

By Peng Wan-hsin and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writer and Reuters

Source: Taipei Times