Hanoi (VNA) – Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son on March 27 held second phone talks with leaders of foreign ministries of the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), India, Australia and New Zealand to discuss COVID-19 situation.

Son affirmed that the Vietnamese Government now gives the top priority to epidemic prevention and control, adding that Vietnam has initially developed a standard treatment regime for infection cases.

He also shared several measures that Vietnam has been applying such as suspension of entry by foreigners, social distancing, concentrated or self-quarantine, halt of business activities gathering large numbers of people such as bar clubs and restaurants.

The Deputy FM stated that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s attendance at the G20 leaders’ video conference in the capacity as ASEAN Chair 2020 has reflected ASEAN and Vietnam’s responsibility and contributions to the international community’s common efforts against COVID-19.

Vietnam is working closely with ASEAN member states to promote measures enhancing the bloc’s preparedness and responsiveness in the fight, he said.

Son proposed keeping aviation transportation at a minimum to meeting the demand for both travel and disease prevention.

He also asked the countries to mutually facilitate citizen protection work.

The official of the US Department of State said the US Government is undertaking all possible measures to cope with the epidemic, and suggested building cooperation mechanisms with countries.

The US side affirmed that the US will soon become able to produce medical equipment to meet both domestic demand and support other countries. The US proposed that countries should maintain information sharing and share experience in the combat, noting the need to ensure the provision of accurate information in the anti-epidemic fight. He also mentioned the world economic recovery issues once the epidemic is rolled back. 

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the country maintains routes used for humanitarian purposes such as carrying medical equipment. It also launched assistance programmes at international organisations.

Australia will enhance the capacity of producing medical equipment to meet domestic demand and support those in need, said the department’s official.

The official of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said the Indian Government has decided to lock down the entire country and launch an aid package worth over 22 billion USD for those affected by the lock-down.

According to him, India is cooperating with several countries in equipment supply to produce test kits.

The Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister, for his part, said Japan is actively working with countries to increase cross-border travel control. He informed that the country is focusing on studying medicines and vaccine for COVID-19.

Japan also has an aid scheme worth 140 million USD to help developing nations.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Deputy Foreign Minister said the country is focusing on ensuring the supply of medical equipment, studying financial support packages and restricting citizens’ movement.

The RoK Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs briefed on measures taken by the RoK such as imposing a ban on international flights, social distancing while ensuring production.

He proposed that countries should consider cooperation in the form of exchanging medical experts.

All the diplomats affirmed that their countries will pool all resources and called for close cooperation and more international aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic./.