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Feb 12, 2020 / 08:20

Vietnam connects ASEAN nations in fight against coronavirus

Vietnam has suggested setting up a Joint Ministerial Working Group in ASEAN to cope with the coronavirus epidemic.

Vietnam is making efforts to connect ASEAN state members fighting against coronavirus epidemic while fulfilling missions given to the ASEAN chair this year, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

 Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: MOFA

“Vietnam has recommended a number of measures to promote ASEAN’s common efforts in coping with the epidemic,” the MOFA Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang has said at a recent press conference.

The country has actively conducted measures against the epidemic together with the missions of the chair of the regional organization, Thu Hang said in a statement.

According to the spokeswoman, on January 30, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh as Head of the ASEAN Coordinating Council, sent a letter to all ASEAN members to set up a Joint Ministerial Working Group with an aim to boost information sharing and better collaboration against the epidemic.

Vietnam keeps an eye on the epidemic and prepares for changes of the chairmanship year in necessary cases. Any changes will be made based on the consensus of the ASEAN members to ensure that the bloc’s activities will take place with the utmost safety, Hang said.

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on a phone call with Indonesia counterpart Joko Widodo. Photo: VNA

Last week, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a phone call with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo to discuss regional collaboration in the epidemic control.

PM Phuc applauded Indonesia’s prompt implementation of preventive measures and no coronavirus infection has been found in the country so far.

The Indonesian president expressed his support to the plan of a Joint Ministerial Working Group and said he highly valued the initiatives taken by Vietnam.

As of February 11, six out of 10 ASEAN state members are hit by coronavirus, including Cambodia (one infection), Malaysia (18 inffections), Singapore (47), Thailand (33), the Philippines (3), and Vietnam (15).