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Apr 15, 2020 / 12:55

ASEAN+3 committed to strengthen early warning system for pandemic

The mechanism is based on sharing of experience and best practices, extending mutual technical support in the prevention, containment and control of transmission.

The ten ASEAN member states together with China, Japan, and South Korea have agreed to strengthen the early warning system in the region for pandemics and other epidemic diseases with regular, timely, and transparent exchange of real-time information in combating Covid-19.

 Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the meeting on April 14. Photo: MOFA

The agreement was reached by heads of state/government of the countries at Special ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit on Covid-19 on April 14 in Hanoi via videoconference chaired by Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in his capacity as the Chair of ASEAN.

The mechanism is based on sharing of experience and best practices, extending mutual technical support in the prevention, containment and control of transmission as well as clinical treatment of infected cases.

Accordingly, the countries enhance national and regional capacities to prepare for and respond to pandemics, including the protection of healthcare workers and other frontline personnel, and the provision of adequate medicines and medical supplies.

They agreed to stay united on high alert and be ready to take any further action that may be required. Notably, they consider setting up an APT reserve of essential medical supplies that enables rapid response to emergency needs.

The nations commit to work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), relevant organizations and the international community as well as encourage public-private partnership (PPP) and a whole-of-society approach in the global fight against the pandemic, while tackling the profound social and economic consequences of Covid-19, protecting people’s well-being and sustaining growth.

 Overview of the meeting in Hanoi. Photo: MOFA

They cooperate for strong, collective, and orchestrated response for control and treatment to harness synergies for effective curbing of Covid-19 measures that are relevant and appropriate to the severity and further evolution of the disease in member states and within the region.

The nations strengthen scientific cooperation in epidemiological research; encourage mutual support and assistance between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries in the development of human resources and capacity for the public health sector; ensure adequate financing to contain the pandemic and protect the peoples.

Plans for economic recovery

They pledge to intensify efforts to promote effective public communication; and reaffirm commitments to keep markets open for trade and investment, and enhance cooperation among ASEAN Plus Three countries with a view to ensuring food security.

The region maintains necessary interconnectedness by facilitating the essential movement of people; strengthen joint efforts toward post-pandemic recovery; implement appropriate and necessary measures to boost market confidence to improve stability and resilience of the regional economy, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and vulnerable groups. Leverage technologies and digital trade to allow businesses, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to maintain operations.

The countries strengthen efforts to stabilize the manufacturing and supply of essential goods and services, including vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products, maintain necessary flow of goods and services and sustain supply chain connectivity within the region and beyond.

They maintains vigilance to the potential risks to regional financial stability, foster closer regional financial cooperation and policy coordination and support the ASEAN Plus Three Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) in monitoring the economic and financial development in the region and providing timely risk assessment and policy advice.