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ASEAN team up to strategically battle the Covid-19 virus

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ASEAN team up to strategically battle the Covid-19 virus | Samui Times
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Today, Thailands Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will push a proposal to create a six-point Asean Response Fund (ARF), to be endorsed by 10 Asean leaders in the battle with Covid-19.

Initiated by the pandemic that has left the situation precarious in each Member State, their cooperation will be seen in a rare Asean summit teleconference overseen by Vietnamese Prime Minister and ASEAN Chairman Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Since last week Gen Prayut has been preparing for the talks. He said that during the one-day conference, he plans to discuss several important items that will culminate in a declaration of the special ASEAN Summit on Coronavirus Disease (Covid 19).

On Monday, a government official said…

“The prime minister is going to ask all ASEAN officials to enforce the plans under this declaration seriously.”

One of the six steps in the declaration is the creation of ARF to equip medical staff with weapons in their ongoing fight against coronavirus and pave the way for a new long-term “force” to eradicate the disease.

At a recent meeting with foreign ministers, Thailand had previously suggested the creation of a fund to finance these initiatives. The proposal had the green light before the 10-nation bloc endorsed it on today.

Officials say…

“The fund is intended to finance the procurement of medical equipment and research into a Covid-19 vaccine.”

According to The Jakarta Post, the new fund will be part of the current ASEAN Development Fund.

Financing concerns will be discussed further this afternoon between ASEAN and its three closest allies-China, Japan and South Korea. This meeting is to culminate in a Joint Statement of the Coronavirus Cooperation Pact Special ASEAN Plus Summit.

In addition to steps taken against Covid-19, similar to the ASEAN Declaration, the declaration would concentrate on efforts to pursue financial assistance from ASEAN ‘plus three’ countries and other international organizations, officials said.

Five other interventions included in the Declaration concentrate on citizens fighting the virus, improving public health programs, quickly responding to cases of emergency, acting against skewed and false facts, and alleviating the damage done to regional economies.

Officials say…

“The Thai Prime Minister would also emphasize that the influence of fake news should be minimized.”

ASEAN team up to strategically battle the Covid-19 virus | News by Samui Times

The new 10-country effort is expected to restore Asean’s image, the Jakarta Post reported, adding that the bloc has been criticized for its slow response and the tendency of its members to put their national interests first.

China, which appears to have succeeded in suppressing Covid-19, has proposed that ASEAN hold a special meeting to urge its leaders to combat the coronavirus together.

This is not the first time that ASEAN has agreed to discuss a regional health problem. When Extreme Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) affected the area in 2003, the Jakarta Post reported that its members addressed the outbreak in Bangkok before taking joint action to tackle the disease.

The ongoing Covid 19 situation in the area became a serious concern, after some participants in a religious ceremony that brought together 16,000 Muslims in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, were infected with the disease, leading to an outbreak of infections in Indonesia and Brunei.

Thai returning from Kuala Lumpur also urged the government to reinforce its quarantine policy for 14 days. While the number of new Covid-19 cases appears to have decreased in the last week, health officials have stressed that people remain cautious in their efforts to stop the spread of the disease.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, Speaker of the Covid19 situation administration, instructed people to “do not lower your guard.” On Monday only 28 new cases had been registered – a decrease from 33 on Sunday and 45 on Saturday. Such new diseases contributed to 2,579 national deaths, 40 after two more people died.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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