Japan is expected to supply Vietnam with support worth more than US$1.8 million to help the Southeast Asian country battle the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic, the Vietnam Government Portal reported.
During the phone talks with Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh on Tuesday, Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Motegi Toshimitsu said his country has pledged to provide at least 200 million Japanese yen ($1.8 million) in aid to support anti-epidemic efforts in Vietnam.
Over the past two months, Japan has granted JPY20 million ($186,000) worth of medical supplies to the Southeast Asian nation, according to Minister Motegi.
He praised the drastic measures taken by Vietnam in the fight against the epidemic, and expressed gratitude toward the Vietnamese government for taking care of and ensuring safety for 20,000 Japanese living and working in the Southeast Asian nation.
In his reply, Deputy PM Minh appreciated the assistance from the Japanese government and people.
As the current ASEAN Chair, Vietnam has been working actively to coordinate and accelerate ASEAN’s joint efforts as well as cooperation between the bloc and partners in response to the pandemic.
Both sides underlined the importance of international collaboration in the exchange of information and experience, manufacturing of vaccines and medical equipment, and citizen protection.
The Japanese side vowed to proactively cooperate with Vietnam regarding the latter’s initiatives on fostering ASEAN responses to the pandemic.
The COVID-19-causing novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 859,800 people and killed more than 42,300 globally as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam has announced 212 COVID-19 patients so far, with 63 having recovered.
No fatality related to the disease has been reported in the country to date.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tuesday issued a directive requesting the implementation of social distancing from April 1 to 15.
The premier declared COVID-19 a nationwide infectious disease pandemic on Wednesday.