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Taiwan's ‘Iron Minister’ delivers food to frontline medical workers

Epidemic Command Chief Chen Shih-chung has earned accolades as tireless leader amid outbreak

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Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In a nod to frontline medical workers fighting hard against the coronavirus (COVID-19), Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) Chief and Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) personally delivered lunch boxes to staff at a Taipei hospital on Saturday (March 28).

Chen, who has spearheaded the country’s response to the health crisis and been dubbed the “Iron Minister” for his diligent work, said the hot bento (traditional boxed meals) showed his recognition of the healthcare workers and represented the warm support of society.

The food was prepared by a kitchen established by a charity advocating “Save Food, Love Taiwan,” a cause supported by the Taipei and New Taipei city governments. Sponsored by Rotary International District 3521, the kitchen will be providing 300 lunch boxes each day to hospital staff in the two cities, wrote CNA.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) pledged to supply the kitchen with unsold vegetables from markets operated by Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corporation. Around 25,000 bento boxes will be given away to medical staff and people under quarantine.

In a survey released by TVBS Thursday (March 26), Chen has gained a 91 percent approval rating for his role in managing the pandemic. On Friday (March 27), Japanese newspaper the Mainichi Shimbun complimented the indefatigable 66-year-old on his sincere attitude and transparent approach towards disclosing virus-related information at the CECC's daily press conferences held since the onset of the outbreak.

Taiwan's ‘Iron Minister’ delivers food to frontline medical workers
Taiwanese artist creates sculpture of Health and Welfare Minister Chen. (CNA photo)