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Vietnam issues statement on ASEAN joint response to Covid-19
Linh Pham 11:13, 2020/02/17
The bloc will prioritize its response to the Covid-19 epidemic which hits six out of the 10 ASEAN members.

Vietnam, as the chair of ASEAN this year, has issued a statement on joint response among ASEAN state members to the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the statement showed that the bloc will work together and prioritize its response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

 Covid-19 outbreak spreads to six out of 10 ASEAN members. Photo: Reuters

The statement stated that ASEAN leaders have expressed concerns over the epidemic which has left significant impact on people’s life and the development of member countries, as well as the region and the world.

For that reason, the bloc will give high priority to fighting the Covid-19, making joint efforts to keep it under control and prevent the spread of the outbreak.

Accordingly, ASEAN nations will maintain the policy on opening doors to each other and collaborating in health checks at border gates of member countries, stated the statement.

In addition, the bloc will also strengthen medical cooperation with China, Japan, and South Korea at national and regional levels and collaborate with the World Health Organization, and other international partners to control the epidemic, said the statement.

The 10-member bloc called on its diplomatic representations across the world to support ASEAN citizens when needed.

As the chair of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC), Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has suggested that ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers will discuss cooperation on coping with the Covid-19 epidemic at the 5th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Laos on February 19-20.

As of February 17, the Covid-19 outbreak has spread to 29 countries and territories with 71,332 people infected and 1,775 deaths, including five outside China.

So far, six out of the 10 ASEAN states have reported infected cases namely Singapore with 75 cases, Thailand with 34, Malaysia with 22, Vietnam with 16, the Philippines with 3, and Cambodia with 1.

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