Australia will support Pacific Island countries, including in Palau, in their preparation to respond to the threats of the coronavirus, according to Australia’s Ambassador to Palau, Richelle Turner.

Ms. Turner who has been recently appointed as Australia’s first resident Ambassador to Palau, in an interview said that part of bolstering the two nations’ relationship is to help address the threats coronavirus.

She said Australia would work with the Ministry of Health on “how we can get support to Palau.”

In a statement in February, Foreign Affairs Minister Marisa Payne said Australia has  “responded quickly to a range of early requests for assistance from our Pacific partners for laboratory diagnosis, personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, risk communication strategies, and national response planning and budgeting.”

Palau is also getting help from Australia with planning, surveillance, risk communication and case management.

Australia and New Zealand are jointly funding the WHO’s Pacific regional coronavirus response plan.

Australia’s contribution is helping Pacific island countries to access medical supplies from the WHO’s global and regional stockpiles and technical advice in areas such as infection prevention and control, and clinical management.

The Australian Embassy in Palau opened December 17,  2019, as part of Australia’s Pacific Step-Up.

Ms. Turner said although the visit to Min. Payne to Palau has been postponed, the embassy will be here to further coordinate with Palau on mutually beneficial cooperation.  (B. Carreon)