Regional solidarity key to cope with COVID-19: experts

Regional solidarity among ASEAN members is key to effective COVID-19 response, said Nehginpao Kipgen - Executive Director at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) - and Aakriti Bansal, a research assistant at the centre, in a recent article posted on Thailand’s Bangkok Post.

regional solidarity key to cope with covid-19: experts hinh 0
The article has praised Vietnam as a low-cost effective COVID-19 response. (Photo: VNA)
The writers said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has not faced anything like COVID-19 in the recent past.

“The optimal way for ASEAN to deal with the pandemic is to stand united and come together as a region,” they wrote.

The article highlighted the holding of a special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on April 14 as one great leap forward for the region, which included the 10 ASEAN members, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. 

Vietnam has since extended some support in the form of medical equipment, which included specialised protective clothing, medical masks, testing systems, and test kits worth US$304,000 to Laos and Cambodia, the article said, praising Vietnam as a successful low-cost model for containing the outbreak.

The article went on that Vietnam’s low-cost model focuses on selective but proactive prevention because of a lack of resources and has been largely effective thus far. 

“Other ASEAN member states should attempt to implement this low-cost model, as the method has worked for Vietnam with a decline in the number of cases,” it went on.

The article also suggested ASEAN conduct more tests and identify as many cases as they can within their borders, as well as respond collectively and proactively as a bloc through coordination, comprehensiveness, information sharing, and effective policy-making, while developing cost-effective models like making cheaper test kits to flatten the curve.
VNA

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