TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Yilan City Government Office announced Friday (April 24) that the Yilan Sister City Promotion Association gathered 2,000 zinc oxide particle masks, 100 pairs of goggles, one ton of alcohol disinfectant, one box of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, and a number of frontal temperature guns (infrared thermometers) to be shipped to its U.S. sister city, Rockville, Maryland.
The Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has hit the sister city particularly hard. According to the Maryland Department of Health, 15,737 cases have been confirmed and the death toll has reached 680, as of Friday afternoon.
According to CNA, the Yilan City Government Office pointed out that in July last year, the two parties signed an agreement to become sister cities. It also said that even before the agreement, the cities had already held multiple exchanges and important cultural activities.
For example, Rockville recently began holding the “Taiwan Pearl Milk Tea Festival” every May and organizes an annual “Taiwan Cultural Week.” Last October, the coastal Taiwanese city invited Rockville’s Richard Montgomery High School jazz orchestra to participate in the 2019 Yilan International Art Festival.
Close contacts establish a profound exchange of friendship and enhance the visibility of Yilan and Taiwan, the office stated.
Yilan City Mayor Chiang Tsung-yuan (江聰淵), who went to the U.S. to sign the sister agreement with Rockville, observed that while everyone was still immersed in this hard-won joy, it didn't take long for the sister city to fall into the threat and rampage of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).
He exclaimed that “By coordinating the collection of epidemic prevention supplies, I believe Rockville City will receive material assistance and encouragement from the sister city of Yilan, Taiwan, and it will certainly be able to overcome the epidemic with more of a fighting spirit and confidence.”