ASEAN, China agree to step up cooperation against COVID-19 epidemic
20:17 | 20/02/2020
VGP – Foreign Ministers of 10 ASEAN member States and China agreed to step up cooperation against the COVID-19 epidemic at their special meeting in Vientiane, Laos on Thursday.

Foreign Ministers of 10 ASEAN member States and China and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi to the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Coronavirus Disease in Vientiane, Laos on February 20, 2020.

     >>> Statement of Special ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting on COVID-19

Accordingly, ASEAN and China will share information and best practices in a timely manner, including exchanging available epidemiological information, technical guidelines and solutions for epidemic prevention and control, diagnosis, treatment and surveillance, with a view to enhancing capacity in emergency preparedness and response.

The Foreign Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation within ASEAN-led mechanisms and with external partners to address COVID-19 in a comprehensive and effective manner, taking into account the different levels of development of health systems in the region.

They agreed to work together to strengthen capacity to prevent and control emerging and re-emerging infectious and communicable diseases such as COVID-19, engage in exchanges of relevant data and technology, experience and capacity building, including training of health and medical personnel, mutual visits of medical experts and other health workers, as well as the possibility of holding an ASEAN-China Workshop on Health Emergency Personnel.

The Foreign Ministers also committed to reducing the impact of the epidemic on the economic and social development of all affected countries, jointly maintaining people-to-people exchanges, trade and investment activities in the region.

They determined to continue working together to deal with this dangerous disease and to address the adverse impacts of COVID-19, and agreed to brief our Leaders on the outcome of this meeting and welcome their guidance on proposals for their engagements at an appropriate time.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minster, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh briefed about ASEAN's collective efforts as well as Viet Nam's measures to contain the epidemic.

Minh affirmed Viet Nam will continue beefing up cooperation among ASEAN member countries and betwen ASEAN and its partners, especially China in fighting the disease.

He expressed his belief that the epidemic will be pushed back soon to give room for normal economic activities, trade-investment and people-to-people exchanges./.

By Quang Minh

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