Foreign ministers from ASEAN Member States and China have gathered at the special meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) which was held in Vientiane on 20 February 2020 to discuss the latest updates on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi are also present in Vientiane to discuss how nations could work more intimately to fight against the coronavirus epidemic.
During his meeting with the ASEAN Secretary-General, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting currently being held sends a positive signal to the world that China and ASEAN countries are fighting the epidemic collaboratively, further strengthening the relations between ASEAN and China.
The COVID-19, which was first detected in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei Province, has now spread to nearly every country in Southeast Asia. However, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Laos, have yet to report a confirmed case of the virus in their territories.
Dr. Phonepadith Sengxayalath, Director of the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE), Ministry of Health, stated that Laos is well equipped to test for the COVID-19, citing his center’s ability to test for the MERS virus in recent years, and its continued surveillance of other viruses such as H1N1. Dr. Phonebadith maintains that the same principles are applied when testing for the new Coronavirus.
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