Launched: ROK project to support ASEAN COVID-19 detection capacity

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2020-06-22 15:06:32 | Posted by Web Team

The “Enhancing the Detection Capacity for COVID-19 in ASEAN Countries” project initiated by the Republic of Korea (ROK) was launched yesterday at the ASEAN Secretariat.

The US$5 million initiative aims to bolster diagnosis and contact tracing efforts of ASEAN Member States against COVID-19 through the provision of molecular testing kits and equipment; personal protective equipment; and in-country trainings on the use of kit and equipment.

In his opening remarks, Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi expressed his appreciation for ROK and stressed that the project showcases the result of a strong cooperation between ASEAN and ROK in addressing the multi-factorial effects of the pandemic on ASEAN communities.

He mentioned that further cooperation efforts in mitigating the impact of the pandemic on public health, trade and travels are also currently being enhanced. Meanwhile, cooperation in public health emergencies, including emerging and re-emerging infectious communicable diseases will also be a major area of collaboration under the new ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action 2021-2025 which will be adopted by the Foreign Ministers in August this year.

On his part, Ambassador of the ROK Mission to ASEAN Lim Sungnam emphasised that the project is a realisation of ROK President Moon Jae-in’s pledge during the Special ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit on COVID-19 held in April to support ASEAN’s capacity strengthening focusing on quarantine and medical supplies. The project intensifies the commitment to build a people-centred community of peace and prosperity that both sides made during the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in Busan in November 2019.

‘’Although our own fight against COVID-19 is still going on, we also endeavor to share our know-how and experiences with ASEAN,” added Ambassador Lim.

Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Viet Nam to ASEAN and Chair of the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives, expressed appreciation to ROK for their solidarity with ASEAN in fighting COVID-19 through the valuable contribution. He added that as the ASEAN Chair for 2020, Viet Nam will endeavour to implement the APT Leaders’ agreements as stated in the Joint Statement of the Special APT Summit.

Through the ASEAN Plus Three health cooperation, ROK has strengthened engagement with ASEAN in responding to COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the outbreak, ROK has regularly shared COVID-19 situational and epidemiological updates from their senior health officials’ contact points to health counterparts of ASEAN as well as China and Japan. ROK also actively participates in virtual meetings of the APT health cooperation platforms and organises special webinar series on COVID-19 for policy and technology sharing.