Twenty-five (25) students and four (4) essential workers flew from Taiwan to Palau to get vaccinated at the Palau airport and returned on the same day to Taiwan on a flight chartered to bring back patients, travelers and escorts that were stranded due to COVID-10 outbreak in Taiwan.
The flight from Taiwan carried a total of 71 passengers and 42 stayed back in Palau while the 29 students and essential workers returned to Taiwan. The 42 are currently in a 14-day quarantine.
Palau government chartered the flight to return patients and travelers who got stranded in Taiwan due to sudden outbreak of Covid-19 in Taiwan.
The flight was largely empty, and Palau government extended invitation to Palauan students studying in Taiwan and Palau government employees in Taiwan to fly in on this flight to receive their COVID-19 vaccine and return on the same flight.
Students and government employees received vaccine jabs at the airport and stayed in the terminal until their departure. Their families were able to see them and talk to them at the airport but only behind glass partition. They were not able to hug them due to strict health protocols. “At least we were able to see them,” said one tearful parent.
The costs of the flight and the vaccine for the students and embassy staff including the return testing were paid for by the government.
“We don’t leave anyone behind,” expressed President Whipps. He said that a boat trip to the remote southwest islands States to vaccinate citizens there has also been scheduled.