Viet Nam will continue supporting epidemic-hit countries: PM
15:52 | 14/04/2020

VGP – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed that Viet Nam will continue to support countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as maintaining normal economic activities and providing essential goods, including food, at the request of countries.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19, April 14, 2020 - Photo:  VGP/Quang Hieu

The PM made the statement while chairing the Special ASEAN Summit on the novel coronavirus disease on the morning of April 14. This is the first ASEAN Summit held in an online format with the full participation of leaders of 10 member states.

Speaking at the meeting, PM Phuc briefed delegates on Viet Nam’s significant achievements in COVID-19 prevention and control, highly appreciating countries’ joint efforts with Viet Nam in combating the pandemic right from the first days.

He welcomed the nations’ support for Viet Nam’s initiatives, including establishing ASEAN’s cooperation fund for COVID-19 response, setting up a medical supply stockpile to meet urgent requirements, organizing online drills on response to epidemics, building a common response process of ASEAN in health emergencies, and establishing a special working group of senior ASEAN information officials to combat fake news.

The leader suggested that ASEAN should coordinate to ensure safety and support citizens affected by COVID-19, in addition to taking joint steps to mitigate and overcome the negative impacts of the disease on socio-economic development, designing plans and putting forward measures for economic recovery after the epidemic, such as sharing lessons of experience and resuming connectivity, tourism reconstruction, as well as and business and social activities.

The conference demonstrated the highest level of political commitment of ASEAN to solidarity and cooperation in the bloc, as well as with its partners, affirming this as the power to help ASEAN repel the COVID-19 pandemic. The leaders agreed that ASEAN’s joint efforts have brought about encouraging initial results. The number of infections in ASEAN countries has so far been much smaller and has grown at a much slower pace than the global average.

Photo:  VGP/Quang Hieu

It is ASEAN’s current top priority to control and curb the spread of the disease, especially cross-border transmission, the leaders said, recommending that ASEAN should focus on implementing measures to reduce socio-economic impacts caused by COVID-19. In order to protect citizens and support small and medium-sized businesses, countries need to coordinate closely together in protecting citizens, providing social security services and support packages, and maintaining supply chain linkages, they added.

The ASEAN leaders also discussed the development of a post-epidemic economic recovery plan, embracing the enhancement of intra-bloc trade, the acceleration of economic cooperation agreements under negotiation, the deployment of economic stimulus measures, and the improvement of response-ability to external shocks.

They adopted a declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-10. Leaders of many countries highly appreciated Viet Nam’s timely support in the disease prevention and control.

This afternoon, PM Phuc, in his capacity as ASEAN Chair 2020, will continue to preside over the Special ASEAN+3 Summit (with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) on the same issue.

By Vien Nhu

 

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