China hands over medical supplies to ASEAN Secretariat
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The hand-over ceremony is held in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 21, 2020. (Photo: provided to People’s Daily) 

Jakarta (People's Daily) - China hands over face masks, infrared thermometers and hand sanitizers to the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) held in Jakarta on Tuesday. 

"Today's contribution to medical supplies and equipment to the ASEC is much appreciated, particularly during this challenging time." said Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN, who also emphasized that the cooperation between ASEAN and China in response to COVID-19 pandemic has continued strongly.

According to the Chinese mission to ASEAN, since the Chinese government got to know that ASEC had a shortage of medical supplies for outbreak control. The Chinese government was deeply concerned about the situation and asked the China International Development Cooperation Agency to donate 75,000 masks and 35 infrared thermometers to ASEC. 

Since hand sanitizer is prohibited in air transportation, the mission decided to buy some in Jakarta, and finally, they managed to get 300 bottles in total.

Since the onset of the outbreak, the cooperation between ASEAN and China responding to COVID-19 pandemic has been sustained at national and regional levels through the health and all other relevant sectors, Lim said.

The ASEAN Health Sector cooperation with the Chineses health counterparts has continued strongly through their transparent 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.  

The ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers Special Video Conference on COVID-19 in April further committed to bolstering the coordination on orchestrated response measures, and rapid research and development for diagnostics, medicines, and vaccines, Lim noted.

Lim also mentioned that the ASEAN and Chinese Foreign Ministers at their Special Meeting on COVID-19 in February affirmed the commitment of both sides to work together in dealing with the pandemic. Further coordination and collaboration efforts in mitigating the impact of the pandemic particularly to public health, trade, and travel at all levels are currently being enhanced. 

"These days have been tough, and China stands firmly together with ASEAN. China's response shows once again the close bond and deep friendship we have with ASEC. We hope the supplies could help better protect ASEC colleagues to stay healthy & safe against COVID-19, " said Deng XIjun, Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN.