CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs in St. Kitts and Nevis, expressed gratitude to some of the Federation’s diplomatic allies for their donation of equipment and supplies to the Ministry of Health in St. Kitts to assist in the fight against COVID-19 in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Multiple ceremonies were held at the J.N. France Hospital in St. Kitts on August 31, when the donations were handed over. Mr. Brantley, who is also the Premier of Nevis and Senior Minister of Health, expressed gratitude to the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the donation of four ventilators and 3,000 rapid test kits.
Also present at the ceremony was Mrs. Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Federal Minister of Health.
“I express very deep appreciation for the solidarity and cooperation that the government oof the Republic of China (Taiwan) continues to offer to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis in our fight against COVID-19,” said Brantley. “This is yet another example of Taiwan’s generosity to us to help us fight COVID-19. Thus far, the government of Taiwan has donated a large volume of equipment and supplies to us. Today is just the latest manifestation of this cooperation that we enjoy.
“I believe St. Kitts and Nevis is fortunate to have a friend such as Taiwan. Taiwan has always been there for us, and I assure that we shall continue to lend our support to the government and people of Taiwan,” he said.
His Excellency Tom Lee, Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis said, based on the cordial relations with St. Kitts and Nevis since the outbreak of COVID-19, Taiwan has made several other donations including 300,000 face masks and other critical medical supplies and equipment.
He said the items donated would strengthen St. Kitts and Nevis’ preparedness efforts to battle the second wave of COVID-19.
“I’m very pleased on behalf of the Taiwan government to make another donation, this time four ventilators and 3,000 rapid test kits. There’s no doubt those two items are very essential, especially when St. Kitts and Nevis is scheduled to re-open its borders in October, and a lot of preparation and training is being undertaken at this moment,” said Ambassador Lee.
In another ceremony, Mr. Brantley thanked the government and people of the United States of America for donating 10 ventilators to St. Kitts and Nevis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation was made through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“I’m honoured to accept this very generous donation from the government and people of the United States. This long-standing cordial relationship is one we have treasured since its inception,” said Brantley. “This hand over represents the fruits of diplomacy. Today’s proceedings are indicative that our commitment to strengthen and broaden cooperation remains.”
Speaking at the virtual ceremony, Her Excellency Linda Taglialatela, US Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), said during these challenging times she is proud the partnership between St. Kitts and Nevis and the United States remains as strong as ever.
“The pandemic has exacted and will continue to exact a heavy toll on the region, and economic recovery will not happen overnight,” said HE Taglialatela. “We are also mindful that the pandemic continues to threaten the region, even as we are in the midst of the hurricane season.
“The United States will continue to examine how it can assist the humanitarian and economic needs of the region during this time of crisis,” she assured.
Accepting a donation of over 3,000 kilograms of cleaning supplies from the St. Kitts-Nevis Diaspora in Canada, Mr. Brantley thanked the nationals in Canada for their generosity.
“These supplies will help tremendously in our fight against COVID-19,” he said.