“Whatever means possible, we will bring the needed equipment in,” expressed Vice President Raynold Oilouch, who serves as the Chairman of the National Emergency Committee, after meeting the fishing boat chartered to bring the critical equipment needed in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

The huge bio-safety hood equipment needed as protective shield during testing of COVID-19 virus was too large to transport via planes to Palau.  With flights between Palau and Taiwan grounded, the transport of the bio-safety hood and three ventilators were stuck in Taiwan.  With time being of essence and aiming to maximize the training expertise of the Taiwan medical experts in Palau, Ministry of Health with NEC found an “out of the box” solution to bring the needed equipment in on time.

“Through a friend of Palau in Taiwan, Minister of Health was able to find a boat to bring the equipment in time for the training,” reported Vice President Oilouch yesterday, after he joined the Palau Patrol boat crew to meet the boat offshore and guide it to port.

According to Vice President Oilouch, the crew did not disembark.  They remained on the boat and their food was sent to them.  After the equipment were offloaded, they left on the same day.

Minister of Health Dr. Roberts said that the Taiwan experts have agreed to extend their stay 2 more days to conduct training of medical practitioners with newly arrived equipment.

Training on COVID-19 testing as well as on the equipment for seriously ill patients is being conducted with medical professionals from both national and private clinics on island as part of the plan to boost the country’s medical capacity to handle COVID-19 cases.