JAKARTA, 22 June 2015 – “ASEAN is concerned about the widening spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS),” said H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN. “ASEAN is taking initiatives on preparedness in responding to the MERS coronavirus (MERS CoV) disease,” he added.

Today, a video conference took place among health experts in ASEAN together with their counterparts from the World Health Organisation and from China and Japan in response to this health concern. The conference was held to help ascertain the region’s information network and share information and experience on the current situation and what is being done in ASEAN and other countries towards MERS. In this video conference, it was re-affirmed that sharing of lessons learned or sharing of important and updated information in preparedness and response to MERS is very useful to the internal preparations and response plans of the respective countries in the region.

It was also emphasized in the video conference the need for sharing up-to-date information, enhancing country surveillance and public health investigation and risk communication, and observing appropriate protocols for clinical management and public health emergency preparedness.

All ASEAN Member States have been strengthening their preparedness, prevention, detection, information sharing and response mechanisms which were tested during the time of SARS until the threat of Ebola. Among others, ASEAN has been vigilant in monitoring travel traffic within the region.

Please click here to see FAQs on MERS and MERS CoV and other information: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/en/  and http://www.cdc.gov/features/novelcoronavirus/