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Taiwan VP tests negative on COVID rapid test after meeting Honduran President

Lai Ching-te had two brief meetings with Castro during delegation visit in late January

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In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te,  right, meets with Honduran President Xiomara Castro i...

In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te, right, meets with Honduran President Xiomara Castro i...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) has tested negative for COVID-19 on a rapid test 10 days after meeting Honduran President Xiomara Castro, who tested positive for COVID, the Presidential Office said Monday (Feb. 7).

Lai served as President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) special envoy to Castro’s Jan. 27 inauguration in a move to consolidate ties with one of the country's 14 remaining diplomatic allies.

Lai had two brief meetings with Castro during the visit. One before the inauguration on Jan. 26 and another one after the ceremony which lasted for seven minutes.

After wrapping up his six-day visit to the Central American ally on Jan. 30, embassy staff in Honduras and Peru tested positive for COVID. On Sunday (Feb. 6), Castro said she tested positive, but will remain on duty in self-isolation as her symptoms are mild.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said on Monday President Tsai and Lai have sent their well-wishes for a speedy recovery to Castro. The delegation team wore masks indoors and outdoors during the visit and strictly followed the pandemic travel guidance, Ou added.

"Rapid antigen tests carried out by the team members throughout the visit multiple times showed a negative result."