ASEAN military medicine forces join online COVID-19 response exercise hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh delivers the opening speech of the exercise on May 27 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - An online table-top exercise (TTX) on COVID-19 response among ASEAN member states’ military medicine forces was held on May 27, chaired by the Vietnamese Defence Ministry’s Military Medical Department.

The exercise attracted the participation of observers, representatives from the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs of ASEAN member states, representatives from the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), and delegates from the military medicine forces of China, India, Japan, the US, Australia, Russia, and the Republic of Korea.

The TTX aimed at assessing the experience of ASEAN states’ military medicine forces in response to the pandemic, defining the relationship between the military medicine force and other forces in this fight, and analysing any shortcomings based on the World Health Organisation’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP), so as to build a joint plan of action to increase ASEAN readiness.

Deputy Minister of Defence, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, thanked the Defence Ministries of ASEAN member states and ASEAN+ countries for coordinating with and supporting Vietnam in different forms during the fight against COVID-19.

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 it may cause.

Participants at the TTX discussed how to deal with each country’s possible circumstances. Three scenarios were developed, including detecting a new infection, detecting a large number of new cases, and community transmission/pandemic.

Delegates also exchanged opinions on the risk of the disease spreading within ASEAN member states’ military medicine forces, and the risk of the health systems’ becoming overloaded./.