ASEAN Discusses Response To COVID-19

ASEAN Discusses Response To COVID-19

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The first teleconference of the Asean Coordinating Council Working Group on Public Health Emergencies was held on Tuesday under the chair of Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng, head of the Asean Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Vietnam.

The group was set up following a proposal by Vietnam, the Asean Chair 2020, with a view to promoting cooperation in the Asean Community to cope with the complicated developments of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Participants shared information about the situation in Asean member-states, as well as the implementation of measures being taken in each country since the outbreak of the pandemic.

They agreed to recommend the Asean Coordinating Council at a foreign ministerial level to adopt specific actions to mobilize the overall strength of the Asean Community to curb the spread of the pandemic and mitigate its impacts on the socio-economic life of member countries.

Asean countries agreed to step up information and experience exchanges in the bloc and increase cooperation with partners in preventing infections and providing treatment for Covid-19 cases.

They also pledged to work together to ensure safety for medical workers who are on the front line in the battle, while maintaining supplies of essential goods for the people and preventing fake news.

Asean will also intensify coordination to implement policies and measures aimed at assisting businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises, and vulnerable groups in society.

Member-states pledged to maintain an open market, facilitate goods and trade exchanges, and ensure social welfare for the public.

A teleconference of the Asean Senior Officials’ Meeting on preventing and combating Covid-19 is scheduled for early April this year.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) groups 10 member countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (VNS)

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