JAKARTA, 21 April 2020 – In a show of solidarity to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government donated medical supplies to the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC). The donation consists of 75,000 surgical masks, 300 bottles of hand sanitizers (500ml) and 35 infrared thermometers that will be used and distributed accordingly to utilised by the staff of  ASEC.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi received the contribution from China’s Ambassador to ASEAN Deng Xijun in a closed handover ceremony held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta today.

The Permanent Representatives of the Philippines and Viet Nam to ASEAN, Ambassador Noel Servigon and Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, respectively, witnessed the ceremony.

Secretary-General Dato Lim said, “Today’s contribution of medical supplies and equipment to the ASEAN Secretariat is much appreciated, particularly during this challenging time. In observing further social distancing measures, and personal hygiene and sanitation, these supplies of medical masks, hand sanitisers, and infrared thermometers will certainly benefit more than 300 staff of the ASEAN Secretariat.”

He added that with the contribution, “the adage of ‘Stay Strong ASEAN’ is not only to be realised at the political level in the region but also very much extended to the welfare and well-being of each staff at the ASEAN Secretariat. With this aid, we demonstrate that we support one another even at the community and individual levels in ensuring that we stay safe and healthy.”

Ambassador Xijun elaborated that “when COVID-19 broke out in Wuhan, people from all walks of life in ASEAN Member States and ASEC expressed sympathy and support of all forms to China. China has made major progress in fighting COVID-19 at home. With all the necessary control measures in place, China is also working hard to assist ASEAN toward an early victory against the disease.”

The ASEAN Health Sector’s cooperation with China’s health counterparts has continued strongly through open and timely technical exchanges and information sharing. Technical coordination, assistance and updated exchanges are currently pursued at the levels of the senior health officials, health experts and Health Ministers through the ASEAN-China or ASEAN Plus Three Health platforms.

Last week, at the ASEAN Plus Three Special Summit on COVID-19, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced that China will provide another 100 million face masks, ten million protective gears, and other urgently needed medical supplies to ASEAN Member States as a grant assistance and via commercial channels.

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