President Widodo appreciated the Vietnamese Government’s move to take prompt and comprehensive measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
He expressed his confidence that under the direction of PM Phuc and with the capability of the health sector, Vietnam is able to prevent the outbreak of the epidemic.
The Vietnamese government leader, in turn, also lauded Indonesia as one of the countries to swiftly take a host of measures to prevent the disease, with no infection cases being found so far.
The two leaders held that ASEAN member states should work hand in hand in the spirit of the 2020 ASEAN theme “Cohesive and Responsive” to seek common solutions and share responsibility to cope with the disease as they did in the prevention of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh as Chairman of the ASEAN Coordinating Council has sent letters to ASEAN member states to express the spirit of coordination and joint action of the regional bloc to prevent and control the disease, PM Phuc said.
Vietnam had asked ASEAN to set up a ministerial-level joint working group with the participation of transport, immigration, border control and consular agencies to soon organise online meetings to timely share information and coordinate actions of ASEAN, demonstrating the intra-bloc solidarity.
President Widodo agreed with and states his appreciation of PM Phuc’s proposals.
Both sides also consented to promote coordination not only within the grouping but also between ASEAN and China, including consular assistance for citizens of the ASEAN member states affected by the disease, especially those who are still clogged in the epidemic area.