The US stands ready to cooperate with Vietnam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the fight against the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), US officials said at a recent meeting with representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in the country.
The meeting, which took place on February 19, saw the participation of Erika Elvander, Director of the Asia-Pacific Office under the US Department of Health and Human Services, and Mitchell Wolfe, Chief Medical Officer of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The US officials applauded Vietnam’s medical capacity, especially in the control of the epidemic.
Vietnamese leaders, from central to grassroots levels, have issued timely instructions and taken comprehensive, drastic measures to combat the disease, they said, lauding Vietnam’s efforts in improving public awareness of the virus.
The US side expressed its belief that with a good medical infrastructure system and a widespread vaccination network, Vietnam will effectively combat the epidemic.VNA
The US officials also praised Vietnam’s close, effective cooperation in the work as the country has regularly exchanged relevant information and experience.
US scientists are joining efforts in the study of COVID-19 to seek preventive measures, they said, adding that some US laboratories have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that could be ready for human testing within two months and for use within six months to one year.
Regarding ASEAN-US cooperation, the US side said Vietnam, in its capacity as ASEAN Chair 2020, has promptly responded to COVID-19 and raised initiatives in regional cooperation against the illness.
The US Department of Health and Human Services is willing to step up medical collaboration with the ASEAN, particularly in the virus fight, through the ASEAN-US mechanism and at international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The CDC plans to send a working group to Vietnam in March to discuss cooperation and the establishment of a CDC office in the Southeast Asian nation, the US officials said.
They added that US offices, including the International Reagent Resources, is ready to share their COVID-19 research outcomes, exchange experts and provide test kits and personal protection equipment for Vietnam to help the country improve is capacity to fight the disease.
At the meeting, the Vietnamese side briefed the US officials on Vietnam’s prevention and control of COVID-19, and thanked the US for its cooperation over the past time.
The Vietnamese officials suggested the US implement more projects to help Vietnam and ASEAN enhance their medical capacity, while further facilitating economic and trade ties as well as people-to-people exchanges, especially at a time when Vietnam and the US are celebrating the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties (1995-2020), and Vietnam serves as ASEAN Chair 2020.