US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has arrived in Taiwan, according to an HHS spokesperson, marking the most senior US visit to the country in decades.
Secretary Azar touched down at Taipei Songshan Airport at 4:48 p.m. local time on Sunday, the HHS spokesperson said. There will be no public events until Monday, the spokesperson added.
Azar will meet with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and several ministers during the course of his visit, an HHS spokesman previously announced.
When Azar and other members of the US delegation disembarked their plane, they wore face masks and were administered Covid-19 tests, as was required as part of their visit, the department said in a statement. An HHS spokesman said everyone in the delegation must test negative for coronavirus on arrival to Taiwan and that the delegation will wear masks throughout the trip except in “rare circumstances.”
The group was greeted by members of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the director general of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control and the director of the American Institute in Taiwan.
Taiwan has reported 479 cases and seven deaths out of a population of 23 million people.
This story has been updated with additional details.