TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A total of 10 negative pressure isolation rooms arrived from Japan on Tuesday (June 8), after Japanese hospitals deferred their orders to their Taiwanese counterparts amid a serious surge in coronavirus cases in Taiwan.
Former Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and the Light Foundation (光合基金會) have called on companies to provide modular negative pressure isolation chambers. Thus far, over NT$50 million (US$1.8 million) in donations has been raised to purchase 20 of them.
Negative pressure rooms have lower air pressure inside than outside in order to keep potentially harmful particles inside the chamber.
On Monday (June 7), Lin announced on Facebook that "the first batch of 10 will arrive in Taoyuan Airport" Tuesday and be sent to hospitals designated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare as soon as they are assembled.
Lin revealed that several hospitals in Japan have already ordered these types of chambers, but when they heard Taiwan was in urgent need, he claims they said, "Then give them to Taiwan first." He said that after the fundraising ended on June 3, he and the Light Foundation accelerated the process of acquisition, hoping to send the negative pressure isolation chambers to the front lines within a week to "protect our medical staff."
As for the 10 received Tuesday, he said that they will be given to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to allocate among 46 hospitals that are in hot spots across the country and have severe emergencies. Lin said that these chambers can also be converted into intensive care units.
Out of gratitude, Lin wrote, "To my good friends in Japan, the people of Taiwan really appreciate this friendship at a time of crisis. No amount of words can express our inner warmth and gratitude."