Vietnam, as Chairman of ASEAN in 2020, has issued a statement on the bloc’s joint response to the outbreak of the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), in the face of the complicated developments of the epidemic, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
The statement expressed the concern of ASEAN leaders abou tthe epidemic, which seriously impacts people’s life and the development of member countries, as well as the region and the world.
Stressing the ASEAN’s solidarity and spirit of a ‘cohesive and responsive’ community, leaders affirmed their strong commitment to joining hands to control and curb the spread of the epidemic, ensuring a safe life for their people.
The statement welcomed the efforts in the framework of ASEAN medical cooperation and cooperation with partners, namely China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
It underlined that the bloc will enhance coordination at both national and regional levels, as well as coordinate closely with the World Health Organization and other international organizations.
The statement also affirmed solidarity and strong support of ASEAN for the tremendous efforts of the Chinese government and the international community in responding to the epidemic.
ASEAN countries will maintain the open-door policy and agree to coordinate in quarantine work at border gates of member countries. They will also work hard to fight fake information on the COVID-19 epidemic. The bloc’s leaders pledged to give a high priority to fighting the epidemic and called for joint efforts of the international community.
ASEAN, short for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is a political and economic organization whose members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The COVID-19 has killed 1,669 people and infected nearly 69,200 globally since it first hit the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, according to the South China Morning Post.
It has spread across mainland China and to 31 other countries and regions, according to a Reuters report.