The Association of Southeast Asian Nations will succeed in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic through continued cooperation and collective effort to arrest the spread of the disease in the region, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday.
“We are confident that the Asean way of partnership and mutual aid will help us overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and move forward with our community-building endeavors,” he said in his message to mark the regional bloc's 53rd founding anniversary.
Duterte said despite the present challenges the region is facing, including the COVID-19 crisis, Southeast Asian leaders’ commitment to work together “has never been stronger.”
“Bouncing back from the pandemic appears to be a daunting task. But if pursued with friends, the burden is shared and transformed into an opportunity to create a more resilient Southeast Asian region,” he said.
Among the 10 Asean member-states, the Philippines now has the highest number of infections at 122,754 as of Friday.
It is followed by Indonesia (121,226), Singapore (54,797), Malaysia (9,063), Thailand (3,345), Vietnam (750), Myanmar (359), Cambodia (243), Brunei Darussalam (142), and Laos (20).