I   Information Sharing for Combating SARS

 

a

ASEAN SARS Containment Information Network

·        The ASEAN SARS Containment Information Network will allow Member countries to share essential information, best practices and new findings for dealing with SARS, in a transparent and effective manner. This will help each Member country contain the transmission of SARS domestically and within ASEAN. The Network could be linked to the WHO.

·        ASEAN Member countries will inform each other in a timely manner regarding SARS cases that have travelled between our countries.  This will allow contact tracing to be carried out to identify persons with possible infections, thus arresting any potential spread.

·        ASEAN Member countries will cooperate by informing each other of instances of vessels or aircraft upon which SARS-infected persons may have been travelling between our countries.   This will allow precautionary measures to be taken when the vessel or aircraft arrives.

·        ASEAN Member countries will share information relating to the epidemiology, clinical features, public health measures and infection control practices relating to the control of SARS, including information on the area of local chain of transmission Sharing of best practices and new findings will enable Member Countries to mutually learn about the nature of the disease as well as about measures that have proved effective in limiting the spread of SARS.

 

 

 

 
II   Coordinated Measures to Prevent the Spread of SARS

 

a

Isolate and Contain Approach

·        Rather than adopt a blanket ban on travel that will adversely affect the flow of businessmen, students, and tourists, a strategy of “isolate and contain” will allow us to live as normal lives as possible.  We will implement in a transparent manner a calibrated set of measures set out below to enable travellers not affected by SARS to travel easily within ASEAN.

 

b

Common Protocol for Air Travel

 

·        Health screening for outbound flights from ASEAN airports.  This could include standardized Health Declaration Cards and temperature checks before boarding the aircraft. This will help to prevent the spread of SARS to other countries.

 

·        Provided a country has in place an effective system of pre-departure health screening for SARS, a citizen or resident of an ASEAN Member Country arriving at the airport of another ASEAN Member Country should not be refused entry due to a suspected SARS infection.  Instead host countries should allow the individual to seek medical treatment within the host country.

 

c

Protocols for Land and Sea Travel

 

·        ASEAN Health Ministers and Ministers in charge of Immigration to work out bilaterally a set of protocols for land and sea travel.

 

d

Contact Tracing

 

·        Details of persons who may be infected with SARS and who have travelled between countries to be shared. Information to include name, passport number, sex, age, date of onset of illness, dates of arrival and departure, modes of travel, flight number or vessel name, addresses of places stayed and details of any persons who the infected may have come into contact with.

 

·        Sharing of information with destination country in instances where a passenger onboard an aircraft or vessel has been offloaded because he is suspected to have SARS.  Information to include personal particulars of the person offloaded, the date of onset of illness, place of treatment, flight number or vessel name and date and time of departure of vessel/aircraft from last port. 

 

e

Adoption of the above measures by other countries

 

·        Given the transnational nature of SARS, we can only fight it through collective efforts.  We also urge other countries not participant to this declaration to adopt similar measures to prevent the export of the SARS infection. 

 

 

III   Communication Strategies

 

a

Public Education by the ASEAN Secretariat

·        The ASEAN Secretariat will develop a national and regional communication strategy on developments vis-à-vis SARS, involving radio, TV and print media, targeting the public, travellers, migrant workers and students.

·        The ASEAN Secretariat will prepare focused articles on SARS and other infectious diseases, with a view to giving accurate information on transmission and prevention.

·        The ASEAN Secretariat will also disseminate such information to various international travel associations.

 

b

Media Briefings by the ASEAN Secretary-General

·        The ASEAN Secretary – General will brief the foreign media regularly on the SARS situation in ASEAN and  the measures against SARS that have been implemented by ASEAN Member Countries. 

c

Updates to Business  Organizations

·        Each ASEAN Member Country will provide regular updates on their domestic SARS situation, measures taken to combat infection, and measures taken to ensure uninterrupted economic activity, to the respective business and trade associations in the country.  These include the various Chambers of Commerce, Business Federations, Risk Analysts, and Research Houses.
 

d

Updates to Travel and Tourism Organizations

·        Each ASEAN Member Country will provide updates on their domestic SARS situation and measures taken to combat the infection to relevant travel entities in key tourism markets such as airlines, travel agents, and tour operators.

 

e

Updates by ASEAN Ambassadors

·        ASEAN Ambassadors in foreign capitals can provide updates on ASEAN’s measures to combat the disease and ensure uninterrupted economic activity to host country Economic Ministers and business, travel and tourism organizations.