HANOI, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reaffirmed the bloc's commitment to collectively respond to the outbreak of COVID-19, or the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in a statement Saturday.
File photo: CGTN
The statement released by Vietnam, the rotating chair of ASEAN for 2020, said leaders of ASEAN members have expressed serious concerns over the outbreak and "solidarity and heartfelt support" for the Chinese government and people, as well as for all countries around the world, in their "tremendous endeavors" to address the epidemic.
The statement also emphasized the importance of "ASEAN solidarity and the spirit of a cohesive and responsive ASEAN community in facing the outbreak."
ASEAN will intensify "timely sharing of information, experiences and best practices" on epidemic prevention, detection and treatment among its members, as well as between ASEAN and China, as well as other partners, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations.
The statement also stressed the important role of the WHO in the global campaign to control and contain the epidemic and commended the WHO's efforts in addressing the outbreak.
Pledging ASEAN's high priority in dealing with the epidemic, the statement said ASEAN members are determined to work closely and actively with ASEAN's partners and the international community to mitigate the adverse impacts of COVID-19.