The event attracted the participation of representatives from the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs of ASEAN member states, foreign military attachés to Vietnam, and delegates from the military medical  forces of China, India, Japan, the US, Australia, Russia, and the Republic of Korea.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh speaks at the event

Speaking at the event, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defense Minister of the Vietnam People's Army, thanked the support and active participation of all ASEAN members for the Vietnamese proposal of an exercise in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (ADMM Retreat).

The Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister also expressed his pleasure when knowing that over the past time, ASEAN military medical forces have actively discussed contents to hold an exercise in line with the joint statement of Defense Ministers at ADMM Retreat on strengthening cooperation in COVID-19 prevention.

It will be the first time such an exercise will have been held, contributing to solidarity, cohesion and mutual support among the defense forces in general, and the military medical forces in particular.

The online table-top exercise on COVID-19 response among ASEAN member states’ military medical forces

As the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, he went on, Vietnam hopes the exercise will benefit all participating countries and others involved, especially in regard to military medicine. He hopes that ASEAN countries will work with and help their ASEAN partners to defeat the disease and overcome all difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the conference, participants discussed how to deal with each country’s potential circumstances based on different scenarios. Through the exercises, ASEAN member states’ military medical forces will assess the experience of each country in response to the pandemic.

In addition, they will define the relationship between the military medical  force and other forces in this fight, analyze any shortcomings based on the World Health Organization’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP), and build a joint plan of action to increase ASEAN readiness.

Translated by Lam Anh