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Taiwan donates 50K surgical masks to South Dakota

 Cabinet Sec. Kim Malsam-Rysdon with Taiwan masks (Photo courtesy of the Governor Office of South Dakota)
Cabinet Sec. Kim Malsam-Rysdon with Taiwan masks (Photo courtesy of the Governor Office of South Dakota) (KOTA)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 4:53 PM CDT
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A shipment of 50,000 surgical masks donated by Taiwan to support medical workers on the frontlines has arrived in South Dakota. Jerry Chang, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural in Denver, which represents Taiwan’s interest in this region, announced the donation on Thursday. The South Dakota Department of Health will be distributing them to hospitals and health care facilities.

“We wish to convey a message that Taiwan is together with South Dakotans in this global pandemic,” Chang says. “While some frontline health workers may still experience shortages of critical equipment for protection from the COVID-19, it is our pleasure to provide them with these supplies. At the same time, we’d like to express our appreciation for their great contributions and sacrifice.”

“Taiwan has been a great international friend for South Dakota and this generous and thoughtful contribution of surgical masks is yet one more example of that friendship,” South Datoka House Speaker Steve Haugaard says. “South Dakota has enjoyed our shared interest with Taiwan in trading commodities, business innovation, education, and culture. We look forward to returning this favor as opportunities are presented. Hopefully, better days are near, and we will continue to look for ways to enhance this relationship. Thank you to all our friends in Taiwan!”

Taiwan’s response to the coronavirus has been widely reported as one of the best models globally. When the outbreak was first reported in January, Taiwan acted swiftly to contain the spread of the virus. Today, Taiwan is among the least affected countries with all schools and businesses open. Even their professional baseball games resumed playing with attendance up to 2,000, the first to open to fans in the world.

In spite of its proximity to China, where the COVID-19 originated, Taiwan’s incidence rate per capita and fatality rate are among the lowest in the world. With a population of 23 million, Taiwan has recorded just 441 positive cases and 7 deaths as of May 28. In addition, it has seen zero local infection for 46 consecutive days.

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