US health secretary to arrive in Taiwan Aug. 9

Delegation will meet with President Tsai, medical experts to discuss coronavirus prevention strategies

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U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Sunday (August 9) to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), according to an announcement by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), said Cabinet spokesperson Ting I-ming (丁怡銘) on Thursday.

Su had presided over the cabinet meeting Thursday morning, and Ting relayed his remarks during the post-meeting press conference, CNA reported.

The Premier said that Taiwan and the U.S. need to deepen cooperation in medical research and development, supply chain security, and global health, according to Ting. These are areas that Taiwan thrives in, thanks to the cooperation of Taiwanese, Su stated.

When asked what kind of epidemic precautions would be taken upon the U.S. delegation’s arrival, Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), deputy director of the Department of Health and Welfare, said that the group must undergo nucleic acid tests in the U.S. no more than three days prior to their departure and each member must present a negative certificate at Taoyuan International Airport. Furthermore, the group will have a strict itinerary and are not allowed to go to night markets or venture off by themselves.

The delegation must wear face masks at all times and maintain social distancing when meeting with government officials.

Azar will also stop by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and visit the Ministry of Health and Welfare to meet with medical experts to discuss Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and treatment strategies.