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Video shows Prague mayor pledging to fight for vaccine doses for Taiwan

Prague mayor says he is 'appalled' by political interference in delivery of shots to Taipei

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib. (Twitter, Zdenek Hrib screenshot)

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib. (Twitter, Zdenek Hrib screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Prague's Taiwan-friendly mayor on Tuesday uploaded a video stating that he is "appalled" at the obstruction of vaccine shipments to Taiwan over politics and urged the Czech government to donate doses to the East Asian country.

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib tweeted that he was "very sorry" to see the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 in Taiwan and "appalled that politics is obstructing the delivery of vaccines to Taiwan." He said his city supports Taiwan and "our sister city Taipei."

In the video below, Hrib points out that as recently as March, the Czech Republic was seeing 15,000 COVID-19 cases per day, forcing the country to go into lockdown. Three months later, the situation has improved greatly, with only 42 cases reported on Sunday (June 13), he added.

The mayor called on the Taiwanese people to "stay strong" and promised that "it will get better," stressing that vaccines are the key to getting the outbreak under control. He said this is why he is so appalled about the obstruction of vaccines to Taiwan for political reasons.

In reference to Japan and the U.S., he acknowledged that some countries have approved the shipment of vaccines to Taiwan.

Hrib said he has called on the Czech prime minister, health minister, and minister of foreign affairs to organize the delivery of vaccines to the island country. He noted that Taiwan had "helped us when we struggled, and I want you to know that we support you as well."

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday (June 16) responded with a tweet expressing thanks for the mayor's "moving message of friendship and support." It assured Hrib that every segment of Taiwanese society is working together to ensure a "powerful COVID19 fightback" and that it will not cease until the pandemic is vanquished.

That same day, MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that on behalf government of Taiwan and its people, the ministry would like to express its gratitude and conviction that "those who commit virtuous deeds will never be lonely." She added that faced with the global pandemic, "Taiwan will continue to work with international partners to fight the pandemic together."