|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the event. Photo: VNA|
According to VNA, attending the event were leaders of ASEAN members, RoK President Moon Jae-in, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and General Director of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Vietnam will continue supporting countries hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, maintain normal economic activities with them, and provide them with basic necessities, including food, as needed, he said.
The PM spoke highly of ASEAN members’ joining hands with Vietnam in responding to the pandemic from the very early days.
He appreciated their backing of Vietnam’s proposals, such as establishing the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, setting up a reserve for medical supplies to meet urgent needs during epidemics, organising an online drill of defence forces, and setting up a task force of senior ASEAN information officials to combat fake news.
PM Phuc emphasised the need for ASEAN to support those affected, work together in mitigating the virus’s impact on socio-economic development, and propose measures to speed up economic recovery.
|Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc waits for the start of the ASEAN meeting. Photo: AFP/Manan VATSYAYANA|
ASEAN leaders also expressed their political commitment to fighting COVID-19.
They said joint efforts by the bloc have seen encouraging initial results, with the number of infections in the region being much lower than elsewhere.
They also affirmed that the top priority of the bloc at this moment is to control and prevent the spread of the disease, in particular tackling cross-border infections.
ASEAN needs to take action to minimise the socio-economic impact, protect local people, and support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The leaders also discussed measures to facilitate economic recovery, including strengthening intra-bloc trade, speeding up negotiations over economic cooperation agreements, and implementing economic stimulus packages.
Concluding the teleconference, the leaders adopted the Declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19./.
As the ASEAN Chair, Vietnam issued the Chair’s Statement on ASEAN response to COVID-19, which alerted the risk of the pandemic and affirmed the determination to foster regional and global joint work in the fight. Vietnam and the bloc also held a number of meetings with partners such as China, the European Union, the US and international organisations to discuss the concern.
Since the outset of the pandemic, Vietnam and ASEAN made swift response and proved the capacity of policy and action coordination among member states.
The association’s endevours have brought about encouraging results with disease control, and the number of infection cases among the 650-million population is estimated at only about 15,000, which is much lower than the global rate.
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