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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on Tuesday kicked off a special summit on the COVID-19 response via video-conference to affirm their commitment to combating the ongoing pandemic in the region.

In his capacity as ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired the virtual summit, which was attended by the heads of state or government of the 10 ASEAN members, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and the ASEAN Secretary-General, reports Xinhua news agency.

The leaders are expected to focus their discussions on containing and preventing the spread of COVID-19, supporting people in the countries hit by the disease, and minimizing socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.

They are also expected to adopt a joint statement on COVID-19 response reaffirming their commitment and determination in eliminating the pandemic’s risks which threaten people’s lives and socio-economic stabilization of the nations.

On Tuesday afternoon, the virtual Special ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN Plus Three) Summit on COVID-19 Response will be held, touching upon measures to respond to and repel the global pandemic.

At the summit, the heads of state or government of the 10 ASEAN members, China, Japan and South Korea, the ASEAN secretary-general and the World Health Organization director-general are poised to elaborate actions and initiatives to bolster cooperation on winning the war against COVID-19, and ensure the region’s dynamic and sustainable development in the long run.

They are expected to adopt a joint statement on COVID-19 response after sharing relevant practical experiences and discussing potential cooperation among ASEAN countries, as well as between the block and its three dialogue partners, especially cooperation on preventing and containing the global pandemic.

The two summits are taking place at a time when COVID-19 continues striking many countries around the world, including ASEAN nations, posing a grave threat to the human health and safety, while fuelling worries about its huge impact on economy regionally and globally.

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