An 8-month-old infant was medically evacuated from Orchid Island to Taitung to get treatment for COVID-19 and pneumonia. Offshore island residents are very worried about their fate in light of limited resources and access to timely medical care. The Taitung County Public Health Bureau hopes the Coast Guard can start helping to transport patients in need of medical care to Taiwan proper.
On the 5th, the National Airborne Service Corps flew an 8-month-old infant with COVID-19 from Orchid Island to Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taitung. The infant is currently in stable condition and no longer has a fever. Orchid Island residents are very worried about access to timely medical care.
Huang Bi-mei, Taitung County Councilor: “We don't just have one moderate or severe case. Can the National Airborne Service Corps handle three or five or seven moderate or severe cases at the same time?”
The Taitung County Public Health Bureau hopes the Coast Guard can start helping to transport patients in need of medical care to Taiwan proper. As of right now, the bureau has to report critical cases in need of immediate medical treatment to the Central Epidemic Command Center and wait for the CECC to approve a medical evacuation.
Lin Sheng-hsiung, Secretary, Public Health Bureau, Taitung County: “If someone who is over 80 or over 36 weeks pregnant needs to be hospitalized, the National Airborne Service Corps is called in to take them to the hospital. We are in discussions with the Coast Guard about the transport of other patients that require hospitalization.”
However, each flight can only carry one patient and one family member and offshore island residents are worried about their fate in light of limited quarantine space, medical resources, and medical evacuation flights. They are calling on the government to make other arrangements as soon as possible to prevent the first big outbreak from decimating Taiwan's offshore islands.