Taiwan hospital discusses virus control with 8 Latin American nations

Photo taken from twitter.com/VinicioCerezo

TAIPEI (CNA) — National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUT) held discussions Wednesday with eight Latin American countries via video conferencing to share Taiwan’s experience in fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, according to the foreign ministry.

The conference was coordinated by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Central American Integration System (SICA), an alliance of eight countries in Central America and in the Caribbean, to help those nations develop an effective response to the pandemic, MOFA said in a statement released late Wednesday night.

During the three-hour video conference, an NTUH medical team, headed by the hospital’s Vice Superintendent Yu Chong-jen (余忠仁), spoke about Taiwan’s intensive care units, emergency response, isolation wards, and its care of critically ill COVID-19 patients, including the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment, the ministry said.

In turn, the representatives of SICA-affiliated Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA) asked questions about the disease and effective prevention measures, the foreign ministry said.

The participants included SICA Secretary General Vinicio Cerezo, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo and Health Minister Hugo Monroy, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health of Nicaragua Carlos Saenz, and about 80 other high-ranking health officials and medical professionals from the SICA member countries, according MOFA.

Among the eight participating Latin American countries were Panama, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and El Salvador, which do not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, MOFA said.

After the video conference, Cerezo said in a Facebook post that Taiwan has been contributing in various concrete ways to help with COVID-19 prevention and control in Central America.

Meanwhile, MOFA said it has held discussions with Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund on organizing other video conferences with Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in Latin America and the Caribbean to help improve their capacity to fight against COVID-19.

Wednesday’s video conference was part of Taiwan’s major foreign policy initiative of “Health for all, Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping,” according to MOFA.