Japanese Vaccine Donation To Taiwan To Annoy China

Taipei Staff: When Japan’s Foreign Minister, Toshimitsu Motegi announced yesterday that the Japanese government in Tokyo would supply COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan he referred to the donation of relief equipment and cash sent by Taiwan in the wake of the devastating March 11th, 2011 earthquake in northern Japan – a donation Japan has never forgotten.

Few however, expected Japan to act so quickly with news filtering out of the Japanese capital later the same evening that the first shipment would arrive within 24 hours.

The vaccines are desperately needed in Taiwan with the government of Democratic Progressive Party President Tsai Ing-wen being criticized for failing to secure enough vaccines for its population despite a year of relative normalcy.

And, at time of typing, it is understood Flight JL 809 from Narita to Taipei, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner has now taken off and is heading southwest to the Taiwanese capital.

As such, Flight 809 is now being seen by many on social media around Taiwan and much of East Asia as representing the year (19)89, and as it will arrive on June 4th, Japan is sending a vaccine lifeline to the democratic nation of Taiwan – claimed by China – on the 22nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing.

It is a numerical ‘coincidence‘ that will not be lost on the authorities of China’s Communist Party in Beijing.

Across China once again, and this year in Hong Kong, memorials to the events of 1989, have been banned with reports of thousands of extra police expected on the streets of Kowloon and around Hong Kong Island today.

Taiwan meanwhile, will see some memorials take place on a limited scale with the majority limited to online demonstrations of remembrance, but with the national government still urging caution and large scale gatherings banned, only a few are expected to make their way to the traditional gathering point of Memorial Hall Square in the heart of Taipei.

Taiwan has in recent weeks seen a huge upsurge in the number of domestic COVID transmissions after a year of relative isolation, and as of Thursday, June 3rd, the daily report by the Central Epidemic Command Cente shows that almost 10,000 have now been infected from a population of 23.5 million, with 166 confirmed deaths to date.

Image: Daniel Schludi – Unsplash

Airbus Boosting COVID Response In India

New Delhi, NFAPost: Airbus has doubled down on its response to the COVID-19 crisis in India, delivering more than 36 tonnes of additional medical equipment to the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) and deploying humanitarian flights to move supplies from abroad as well as within the country.

Airbus is delivering oxygen plants, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, BPAP breathing machines and mobile intensive care units (ICUs), further boosting its individual contribution to the global humanitarian effort to tackle the second wave of COVID-19 infection in India.

An A350 test aircraft delivered a part of the consignment comprising oxygen concentrators and ventilators from Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France, on Wednesday. The remaining materials are sourced from India.

Airbus India & South Asia President and Managing Director Rémi Maillard said Airbus stands behind India in solidarity and service.

“Our focus is to support not only our employees, customers, and partners but also as many people of India as we can,” said , of . “This is our common fight against the virus and we at Airbus are committed to doing our best to help in these challenging times for India and the world,” said Rémi Maillard.

The latest contribution from Airbus comprises two oxygen generator plants, 250 oxygen concentrators, 30 ventilators, 100 BPAP breathing machines and four ICUs-on-wheels. Airbus is working with the Indian government and the IRCS, the nodal agency for handling of international aid, to ensure the smooth deployment of the materials.

Additionally, the Airbus Foundation is in touch with international and Indian NGO partners to support any need for transportation of relief materials from Europe. Airbus Foundation has also secured helicopter flight hours to move aid within India.

“The crisis is still unfolding. Its fallout will have to be managed over the coming many months,” Rémi Maillard said. Rémi Maillard said Indian NGO partners are already evaluating the knock-on impact of the crisis on livelihoods and children’s education. “Airbus will expand support to them to meet the additional challenges,” said Rémi Maillard.

The latest mission is Airbus’ second tranche of support to the country. The Company has already contributed with funds to a consolidated response coordinated by the French embassy in India, which included the delivery of eight large oxygen generators, ventilators, electric syringe pumps, anti-bacterial filters and patient circuits as part of a 28-tonne consignment. Much of the equipment has been deployed, and it is helping save hundreds of lives across India.