ASEAN leaders poise to combat COVID-19, to hold teleconference next week


Heads of States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is scheduled to hold a teleconference next week to discuss concerted efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic affecting all member nations, diplomatic sources said on Monday.

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae In are expected to participate in the envisioned ASEAN-plus-three teleconference.

Most likely to take place on April 14, the telephone summit of the ten nation ASEAN block has also invited the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea, nations that are also affected by the COVID-19 disease.

Vietnam, which holds the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN this year, informed its fellow members that a leaders’ summit to be hosted by the country would be postponed from April to late June, the source said.

The leaders are certain to exchange views on how to curb the virus epidemic, implement preventive measures and treat infected patients, the sources said.

As the virus continues to spread globally, a special U.S.-ASEAN summit originally scheduled for mid-March in Las Vegas has also been delayed.

The novel coronavirus causing a respiratory disease called COVID-19 was first detected late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Source: Mainichi Japan)