Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) Slovakia will donate an extra 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan, up from the original pledge of 10,000, and will deliver the donation in one shipment on Saturday, according to the Central European country's Ministry of Economy.
In a statement released by the ministry on Friday, Karol Galek, the 2nd state secretary of the ministry, said that with concerted efforts, his country has managed to increase the doses donated to 160,000, up from the 10,000 originally announced in mid-July.
In addition, surgical suits from the Slovak company Fibrochem will be delivered along with the vaccine doses, according to the statement.
The ministry said these were gifts from Slovakia as it tries to help Taiwan deal with its shortage of vaccines and to repay Taiwan for its donation of 700,000 face masks to the country during the earlier period of the pandemic.
Taiwan's Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) expressed appreciation for what he said was "the true friendship" showed by Slovakia, and the support from the democratic partner.
Based on common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, Chang said Taiwan and Slovakia will enhance the partnership between the two countries and contribute to the international society.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also thanked Slovakia on behalf of Taiwan's government and people for the support and unity in the fight against COVID-19.