Experts: ASEAN needs to come together over COVID-19 pandemic

(VOVWORLD) - Regional solidarity among ASEAN members is key to fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, said Nehginpao Kipgen, Executive Director at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) and Aakriti Bansal, a research assistant at the center. 
Experts: ASEAN needs to come together over COVID-19 pandemic - ảnh 1

People wear facemasks to avoid the infection of COVID-19 at a plaza in Bangkok, Thailand on May 17, 2020. (Photo: AFP/ VNA)

In  an article posted on Bangkok Post on Saturday, the two experts said the outbreak of novel coronavirus poses a significant threat to ASEAN. This is primarily due to the region's geographical proximity to China and the high trade flow between them.

According to the article, although ASEAN foreign ministers have discussed the setting up of a regional fund to respond to the pandemic, a fund alone is not nearly enough. The governments of different member states need to be more vigilant and adopt policies that are cost-efficient to help in flattening the curve. Once ASEAN’s more medically equipped members manage to contain their outbreaks, they should start helping other ASEAN neighbors, as economic disparity among ASEAN members is apparent.

The article said that ASEAN needs to respond collectively as a regional bloc. Other ASEAN member states should attempt to implement a low-cost model for containing the outbreak.