It right time for ASEAN, EU to strengthen cooperation in COVID-19 combat, DPM Minh says
21:48 | 20/03/2020
VGP – It is the right time for ASEAN and the EU to strengthen active cooperation in response to COVID-19 as no country or region is immune to impacts of the pandemic, said Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh addresses at the ASEAN-EU Ministerial Conference on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on March 20, 2020. Photo: VGP

Minh made the above statement at the ASEAN-EU Ministerial Conference on Friday amid swift and complicated developments of the pandemic across the world.

ASEAN member countries were among the first countries that recorded cases of COVID-19 infections but the bloc has acted fast and pro-actively, both by individual member state and through coordinated actions of the ASEAN Community, Deputy PM Minh stressed.

As the ASEAN Chair 2020, Viet Nam has been working closely with other ASEAN Member States in advancing a multi-sectoral approach to enhance ASEAN’s preparedness and responsive measures to combat the disease and minimize its impacts, he said.

Earlier on February 14, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, upon consultations with Leaders of ASEAN Member States, has issued an ASEAN Chairman’s Statement on ASEAN Collective response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Six days later, Viet Nam has convened a Special Meeting of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers to discuss practical measures to move forward ASEAN’s collective approach to mitigate and subsequently eliminate the threats of the COVID-19.

According to Deputy PM, FM Minh, regular exchange of information and daily updates have also been enhanced among ASEAN Member States.

He suggested ASEAN and the EU promote policy coordination, information exchange, technical assistance and health care resources where appropriate.

Both sides can share with each other good experiences and best practices to detect, test, quarantine, trace and control community transmission.

With its advanced public health systems, research and technology capabilities, the EU can cooperate and assist ASEAN in developing effective preventive and treatment methodologies, including vaccines and drugs research and development.

Min called for strengthening efforts to temporarily restrict the peoples’ movement that can worsen the spread of the virus through proper risk communications.

Both sides can also work together to assure that our nationals who stay or work in each other’s regions are provided with necessary information on appropriate health safety measures and if they get infected, they will be duly treated./.

By Quang Minh

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