Major General Nguyen Xuan Kien and other Vietnamese officers

Speaking at the event, General Kien briefed participants on the developments of the COVID-19. Accordingly, as of April 7, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 1.3 million people in 208 countries resulting in over 74,000 deaths worldwide. The developments of the COVID-19 in Southeast Asia is complicated as the number of confirmed cases has increased significantly. Particularly, the number of confirmed cases in the region has increased by 600% compared to that of one month ago. This has required the military medical sectors of ASEAN member states to increase their efforts in preventing the spread of the deadly disease. 

At the conference, members of ACMM were briefed on the joint statement by the ASEAN defense ministers on defense cooperation against the COVID-19, which was adopted at the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Retreat. In the statement, ASEAN defense ministers emphasized the strength of solidarity among ASEAN members and committed to boosting defense cooperation in fighting the disease. Accordingly, ASEAN countries will promote sharing information and experiences with one another and their partners and consider hosting an exercise in response to COVID-19 in the framework of ACMM.

General Kien also asked the Board of Directors of the ACMM to discuss cooperation mechanism among the military medical sectors of ASEAN countries to prevent and control the disease. Vietnam suggested holding an exercise on COVID-19 prevention and control with the participation of ASEAN+ countries.  

ACMM’s members agreed with Vietnam’s initiative and emphasized the need to develop a simulated scenario to raise the quality of response to the complicated developments of the disease.

In the time to come, Vietnam’s Military Medical Department will hold discussions with other defense ministries of ASEAN countries and come up with a detailed plan for the exercise. The country will also consider the possibility of inviting ASEAN+ countries to participate in the event. 

Translated by Tran Hoai