RoK helps ASEAN countries enhance detection capacity for COVID-19 hinh anh 1RoK Ambassador to ASEAN Lim Sung-nam presents a token of test kits and protection equipment to ASEAN members (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – The Mission of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to ASEAN, in coordination with the ASEAN-RoK Development Cooperation Programme, launched a project on enhancing the detection capacity for COVID-19 in ASEAN countries, on June 16.    

Addressing the launching ceremony, RoK Ambassador to ASEAN Lim Sung-nam reiterated that the programme was prepared to follow up on President Moon Jae-in's pledge to support ASEAN's response to COVID-19 as announced at the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 on April 14.

According to him, the approval process for the ASEAN-RoK Cooperation Fund programmes takes more than six months in accordance with a standardised operation procedure, but the RoK's proposed programme on COVID-19, due to the urgency, was endorsed within a month.

Ambassador Lim extended his appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat and the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) for their cooperation. He also emphasised that it is time to turn crises into opportunities while ASEAN and the RoK continue collecting ideas to pursue collaboration.

Secretary-General, Dato Lim Jock Hoi hailed the RoK's support to enhance ASEAN's capacity to respond to the COVID-19. He said the programme will set an example to further cooperation between ASEAN and the RoK in response to the infectious diseases which will bring health ministries and diseases control centres of ASEAN and the RoK together for further cooperation.  

Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN, said that the RoK's contribution of test kits and protection equipment to ASEAN member states would surely curb the spread of the virus in the region. He affirmed that as chair of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam will endeavour to implement the ASEAN Plus Three leaders' agreements as stated in the Joint Statement.

The ASEAN's capacity building programme for early detection of the COVID-19 is expected to promote ASEAN-RoK cooperation on health and explore new areas of cooperation in the time of global crisis. PCR equipment, test kits and personal protective equipment will be provided to each ASEAN member state in late June or early July.

Ambassador Lim said one of the important pillar for the success of the programme would be close consultation and coordination between the RoK and Vietnam. He added that he hopes the two countries will continue to work together in more projects in public health care in ASEAN countries in the future./.