Update: 10:16 | 15/02/2020
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as Chairman of ASEAN in 2020, issued a statement on ASEAN’s joint response to the outbreak of the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), in the face of complicated development of the epidemic.
The statement expressed the concern of ASEAN leaders about the complicated development of the epidemic, which seriously impacts people’s life and the development of ASEAN countries as well as the region and the world as a whole.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Stressing the ASEAN’s solidarity and spirit of a “cohesive and responsive” community, ASEAN leaders affirmed their strong commitment to joining hands to control and curb the spread of the epidemic, ensuring a safe life for their people.
The statement welcomed the efforts in the framework of ASEAN medical cooperation and cooperation with partners (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea), and underlined that ASEAN will enhance coordination at both national and regional levels, coordinate joint work among relevant sectors for a synchronized and effective approach of the ASEAN Community as well as for stronger cooperation with the World Health Organisation, partners and international organisations in preventing and controlling the epidemic.
The statement also affirmed solidarity and strong support of ASEAN for the tremendous efforts of the Government and people of China as well as the international community in responding to the epidemic.
ASEAN countries will maintain the open-door policy and agree to coordinate in quarantine work at border gates of member countries, the statement said, requiring diplomatic representative agencies of ASEAN countries in a third country to provide consular support for ASEAN citizens when necessary, and cooperate to fight fake information on the COVID-19 epidemic.
ASEAN leaders pledged to give a high priority to fighting the epidemic and called for joint efforts of the international community.
As part of the ASEAN’s joint response to the COVID-19, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, as Chairman of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC), has proposed organizing an extraordinary meeting of the ACC and coordinating with China to hold a special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the occasion of the upcoming 5th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Vientiane to discuss cooperation in fighting COVID-19.