ASEAN Health Sector Efforts in the Prevention, Detection & Response to COVID-19

Mar 29, 2020 | DRR News, News, Southern Response to COVID-19

Guided by the ASEAN Post-2015 Health Development Agenda (APHDA) and its Governance and Implementation Mechanism (GIM), the ASEAN Health Sector Cooperation deployed and operationalized the established and existing health mechanisms for technical exchanges, information sharing, and updates on policy-related measures in responding to COVID-19.

Employing an all hazards approach through the whole-of-health-system and whole-of-government approach, the ASEAN Health Sector addressed the COVID-19 threat in the whole spectrum of preparedness, detection, mitigation, and response measures through the various health platforms. All ASEAN Member States through the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD) and SOMHD Plus Three reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance coordination and cooperation to control the spread of the COVID-19.

Since health officials from China shared the first information on the disease, the ASEAN Emergency Operations Centre Network for public health emergencies (ASEAN EOC Network), led by Malaysia, and with the support of ASEAN Secretariat had been sharing daily situational updates. They also provide information on prevention, detection and response measures to the ASEAN Senior Officials for Health Development (SOMHD) of ASEAN and China, Japan and Republic of Korea (Plus Three Countries), as well as to Contact Points of the ASEAN EOC Network and the ASEAN Plus Three Field Epidemiology Training Network (ASEAN+3 FETN). This is on top of the real-time information sharing through mobile instant messaging within the ASEAN EOC Network consisting of Disease Prevention and Control officials of ASEAN Member States.

The ASEAN BioDioaspora Regional Virtual Centre (ABVC) for big data analytics and visualisation complements the national risk assessments, readiness and response planning efforts. ABVC, led by the Philippines, recently produced reports on Risk Assessment for International Dissemination of COVID-19 across ASEAN Region. The reports provide high-level situational overview globally; the risk profile for the potential spread of the virus in the ASEAN region based on prospective flight data; and the need for mitigation measures against virus importation at international points of entry/exit.

The initiatives carried out by the ASEAN EOC Network and the ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Centre are part of the Mitigation of Biological Threats Programme Phase 2 implemented in cooperation with the Canada’s Weapons Threat Reduction Programme, previously known as the Global Partnership Programme.

For more information on the ASEAN efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.