Overseas Hakka associations discuss COVID-19 outbreak on radio show

Invited by radio show host Ah Kun Chang (張鎮堃) of the “Weekly International News (一週國際),” Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) Minister Lee Yung-de discussed the latest COVID-19 situation with representatives of overseas Taiwanese Hakka associations on Hakka Radio (講客廣播電臺) on May 8. This was the third time Lee has been hosted by Chang.

Other guests invited to join the program included President Charles Chung (
鍾振乾) of Taiwanese Hakka Associations of America (THAA), President Lee Wang-tang (黎萬) of Europe Taiwanese Hakka Association, and President Chang Yun-sea (張永西) of the Brazil Hakka Tsung Tsin Association. They each talked about what they have gone through during the pandemic.

Minister Lee said that Taiwan has reported zero new coronavirus cases for many days in a row, signifying the country’s success in containing the virus outbreak. He added that although Taiwan is dealing with the crisis well, people on the island still need to take preventive measures seriously since the pandemic has not been slowing down in many parts of the world.

THAA President Chung, who is in San Francisco, reported that because California was the first state of the United States to order all residents to stay at home to contain the spread of the disease, its effectiveness of infection prevention was way ahead of other states, adding that Hakka expats in Northern California were staying safe and healthy.

Living in Madrid, President Lee Wan-tang said that the Spanish government’s failure to impose appropriate preventive measures and the absence of the population’s mask-wearing habit exacerbated the spread of the disease, making Spain register the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Europe. However, Lee further explained that the authorities have ordered business shutdown and school closures to stop the outbreak from getting worse.  Fortunately, he noted, no Hakka expats in Spain had contracted the virus.

President Chang, in Brazil, said that two members of the local Hakka community unfortunately died from the coronavirus disease. He said that the association has prepared medical supplies and food to help Hakka residents weather the storm.

The three overseas Hakka leaders unanimously agreed with Minister Lee that Taiwan has become a model for combating COVID-19. They also said that, compared to other countries, Taiwan’s national health insurance system is among the best in the world, hoping that Taiwanese citizens would cherish their hard-earned, valuable healthcare system.