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The Outbreak of Coronavirus in China highlights the importance of Taiwan’s participation in WHO’s global efforts to fight cross-border pandemics

By Ambassador Douglas C. T. Shen of the R.O.C.(Taiwan)

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H.E. Ambassador Douglas C.T. Shen

Dear Sir/Madam

Virus knows neither border nor politics. As the world gears up to manage and control the spread of the deadly coronavirus originated from Wuhan, China, the exclusion of Taiwan from the WHO poses a serious loophole in the global efforts to tackle such an urgent health crises.

As the coronavirus spreads to all parts of China, 55 plus major metropolises and 3 provinces there have already been sealed off. China’s government has been criticised by the international community for its tardy and opaque handling of the outbreak. However, China still tries to block the world health body and other countries from accurately evaluating the situation and taking timely measure. Worse still, China also uses its political influence to block the Taiwanese health officials and experts from access to vital information about this new type of pandemic.

Taiwan has successfully implemented Universal Health Care (UHC) and is capable and willing to contribute to global health security, as is demonstrated by its medical cooperation with Saint Lucia over the years and the recent cooperation between the two countries in taking appropriate measures to manage the outbreak of Wuhan Coronavirus. Taiwan’s pragmatic and constructive participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) as well as other WHO mechanisms, meetings and activities will advance the right to health and wellbeing of people around the world.

I would also like to thank the Honourable Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and the Government of Saint Lucia for the statement in support of Taiwan’s WHO bid on the occasion of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, which “urgently calls on the WHO, as a matter of urgency, to ensure that there is the full involvement of the Taiwanese authorities in the international consultations, planning and decision making to monitor, control and ultimately halt the further spread of the coronavirus.”

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