WASHINGTON — The US is ready to cooperate with Việt Nam 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 US.
The meeting, which took place last week, 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 Việt Nam’s medical capacity, especially in the control of the epidemic.
Vietnamese leaders, from central to grassroots levels, had issued quick instructions and taken comprehensive, drastic measures to combat the disease, they said, praising Việt Nam’s efforts in improving public awareness of the virus.
The US expressed its belief that with a good medical infrastructure system and a widespread vaccination network, Việt Nam will effectively combat the epidemic.
The US officials also praised Việt Nam’s close, effective cooperation exchanging relevant information and experiences.
US scientists were joining efforts in the study of COVID-19 to seek preventive measures, they said, adding that some US laboratories had developed a COVID-19 vaccine that could be ready for human testing within two months and for use within six months to a year.
Regarding ASEAN-US cooperation, the US said Việt Nam, in its capacity as ASEAN Chair 2020, had promptly responded to COVID-19 and raised initiatives in regional cooperation against the illness.
The US Department of Health and Human Services was willing to step up medical collaboration with the ASEAN, particularly fighting the virus, through the ASEAN-US mechanism and at international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The CDC planned to send a working group to Việt Nam 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, was ready to share their COVID-19 research outcomes, exchange experts and provide test kits and personal protection equipment for Việt Nam to help the country improve its capacity to fight the disease.
At the meeting, the Vietnamese representatives briefed the US officials on Việt Nam’s prevention and control, and thanked the US for its cooperation in the past.
The Vietnamese officials suggested the US implement more projects to help Việt Nam 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 Việt Nam and the US are celebrating the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties (1995-2020), and Việt Nam serves as ASEAN Chair 2020. — VNS