Jun 28, 2020 / 08:00

ASEAN cares about vulnerable people hit by Covid-19

The Hanoitimes - So far, as many as 143,587 people in ASEAN member states have tested positive for the coronavirus and nearly 4,200 deaths are reported.

Leaders participating in the 36th ASEAN Summit on June 26 considered measures to help vulnerable people who suffer from the Covid-19 pandemic that has been sweeping all Southeast Asian countries.

 Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the summit on June 26. Photo: Asean.org

The leaders emphasized the importance of undertaking responsive and timely measures to address the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable sectors, including women, children, youth, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, according to a statement.

Accordingly, it takes into account how disasters and other challenges can further heighten their vulnerabilities, as well as strengthening their capacities to respond to the impacts of the pandemic, according to the Chairman’s Statement of the 36th ASEAN Summit which was held online.

The bloc agreed to intensify efforts in safeguarding public goods such as health, education, and human security; create systemic changes to policy frameworks, as necessary, to reduce inequality and provide equitable access to opportunities for all, especially vulnerable and marginalized groups, including children, women, people with disabilities, elderly people and migrant workers, in accordance with domestic laws and international obligations, stated in the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement.

Enhance regional platforms to promote equitable opportunities, participation and effective engagement of women, children, youth, the elderly/older persons, persons with disabilities, people living in remote and border areas, and vulnerable groups in the development and implementation of ASEAN policies and programs, read the vision statement.

 Infections and deaths of Covid-19 in ASEAN member states. Source: Johns Hopkins University. Chart: Linh Pham

The member states recognized the unprecedented challenges posed by Covid-19 in the region and the world and they noted with grave concerns the human cost and socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic.

They reaffirmed their commitment to implementing targeted policies to assure their peoples that ASEAN is at the forefront of this critical battle and future crises.

So far, all ASEAN member states have been hit by the global health crisis. Indonesia tops the list with 52,813 cases and 2,720 deaths; Singapore 43,246 cases and 26 deaths; the Philippines 34,803 and 1,236; Malaysia 8,616 and 121; Thailand 3,162 and 58; Vietnam 355 and zero deatha; Myanmar 293 and 6; Brunei 141 and 3; Cambodia 139 and zero deaths; and Laos 19 and zero deaths.