Taiwan has thanked both Japan and the United States for the timely offer of COVID-19 vaccines as coronavirus cases on the island exceed 10,000.
The Central Epidemic Command Centre, CECC, announced 474 new cases and 21 related deaths on Friday
Since the pandemic began, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 10,446 cases including 9,248 locally transmitted ones while the related death toll had reached 187.
The island of 23.6 million people with a vaccination rate lower than 3 per cent saw the arrival of 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shipped by Japan Airlines JL 809 directly from Tokyo.
“We deeply appreciate it,” CECC chief Chen Shih-Chung said at a news conference, displaying a big board saying “THANK YOU” to Japan.
President Tsai Ing-wen on Facebook stated that Taiwan was grateful for receiving the timely assistance on June 4 from Japan, a partner sharing the same values of freedom and democracy, referring to the Tiananmen massacre on June 4, 1989, in China.
Mr Tsai, who slammed China for blocking Taiwan’s deal with the German pharmaceutical firm BioNTech for supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on May 26, also thanked the United States.
According to the American Institute in Taiwan, AIT, which acts as the de facto U.S. embassy, Taiwan will be included in the first tranche of the more than 80 million COVID-19 vaccines the U.S. will share.
President Tsai tweeted: “With the strong partnership our countries share, we know we’ll be there for each other in times of need,”
“Taiwan will continue to communicate with other countries in order to secure more stable supplies of vaccines.”