King Mswati III says Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen sent an antiviral drug, which he did not name, to help him recover.
The king of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, said he had recovered from COVID-19 and thanked the president of Taiwan for sending antiviral drugs to help him.
The small southern African country, an absolute monarchy, is Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally on the continent, and Taipei has provided large amounts of economic and other aid.
In a speech on Friday, King Mswati III said that while the country waited for vaccines to arrive, there was an antiviral drug, which he did not name, that could be used to treat the disease.
He said he tested positive “for a few days” in the first week of January, but is now negative.
“I am grateful to the President of the Republic of China in Taiwan for sending me this medicine to cure me,” he said, using the official name of the island in the speech published on government official eSwatini . Twitter Account.
The 52-year-old king had not previously reported his coronavirus infection. He said the drug, given by infusion, allowed him to recover before he even had time to announce his hospitalization.
Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said that after learning that the king was infected, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen arranged for medical assistance for him.
“The Foreign Ministry is pleased to learn of the successful recovery of King eSwatini under the joint care of Taiwanese medical staff and eSwatini,” she said.
The King could have been referring to remdesivir, an antiviral drug from Gilead Sciences, Inc., which was conditionally approved in Europe in July for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents with pneumonia requiring supplementation. oxygen.
Taiwan also provisionally approved its use last year.
Using the slogan “Taiwan can help,” the government was keen to show its help to other countries during the pandemic by donating face masks and other supplies.
The kingdom of eSwatini has recorded nearly 17,000 coronavirus infections and 644 related deaths.
Its Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini died in December after four weeks of treatment for COVID-19 in neighboring South Africa.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory without the right to state-to-state ties. Only 14 countries now officially recognize the island government.
Burkina Faso was the last African country to cross to China in May 2018, leaving eSwatini alone on the continent to maintain diplomatic relations with Taipei.