ASEAN responds in concert to coronavirus

15:19 | 05/02/2020
On February 4, 2020, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a phone call with Indonesian President Joko Widodo about co-operation between ASEAN countries to deal with acute respiratory infection caused by the new strain of coronavirus.
asean responds in concert to coronavirus
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a phone call with Indonesian President about the ASEAN's cohesiveness and responsiveness with the coronavirus

President Joko Widodo highly appreciated the Vietnamese government for taking quick and synchronised measures to prevent the spread of the disease, believing that under the close direction of PM Phuc and with Vietnam’s proven medical capacity, the country is fully capable of successfully preventing this disease.

Meanwhile, PM Phuc expressed his appreciation of Indonesia as one of the countries that have rapidly implemented measures to prevent the disease before detecting a case of novel coronavirus (nCoV) so far.

The two leaders agreed that ASEAN member countries should actively co-ordinate in the spirit of the ASEAN’s theme "Cohesive and Responsive", aiming to find common solutions, share responsibility for dealing with common regional diseases. ASEAN countries have valuable experiences from co-ordinating to tackle the SARS in 2003, so it is necessary to continue to be more proactive in fighting against the nCoV epidemic.

PM Phuc said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, as the chairman of the ASEAN Coordinating Council, sent a letter to ASEAN countries, rousing the spirit of co-ordination and joint action against the nCoV epidemic. Vietnam has proposed the ASEAN to establish a Joint Ministerial Working Group with the participation of agencies on transport, immigration, border control, as well as consular issues and will soon organise online meetings to timely share information and co-operate with ASEAN member countries, showing the ASEAN's solidarity.

Indonesian President Widodo fully endorsed and appreciated the proposals of PM Phuc. The two leaders also agreed to strengthen co-ordination not only in the ASEAN but also between the ASEAN and China, including consular support for citizens of ASEAN countries affected by the epidemic, especially for those stuck in the epidemic area.

By Phuong Hao

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