TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A total of 180,000 surgical masks manufactured in Taiwan have been passed to Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, who called for unity in the fight against the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The president of the Latin American ally confirmed having received the donation of 180,000 masks from Taiwan via a tweet on Monday (April 13). He said the masks would be distributed to thousands of Guatemalans.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to follow the measures to avoid more infections,” said Giammattei, who went on to call for unity in the battle against the virus that has sickened nearly two million of the world’s population since its first outbreak in China late last year. The donation to Guatemala is part of the 10 million masks intended for the U.S., Europe, and 15 allies that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
“Solidarity, cooperation & trust have long been the foundation of rock-solid #Taiwan-#Guatemala relations,” tweeted Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition to the face masks, Taiwan has provided medical equipment, such as ultrasound scanners and X-ray machines, as well as thousands of instant noodle packages to the ally since late March, according to Taiwan’s embassy in Guatemala.
Having recorded its first coronavirus case in mid-March, Guatemala now has 167 confirmed cases — five of which have died. As the U.S. has become the new epicenter of the coronavirus, cases in Latin America have also spiked, especially in Brazil, where nearly 20,000 people have been infected as of Tuesday (April 14).