A webinar jointly hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) today brought together high-level speakers from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to provide first-hand insights on the successful approaches and lessons learnt in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in East and North East Asia.
Addressing avenues to strike a balance between COVID-19 control and restoring normal activities, they also shed light on the importance of sharing of experiences among countries and stakeholders on COVID-19 responses as well as joint actions on infectious diseases control within and beyond Asia and the Pacific in preparation of a possible second wave.
Opening the webinar, Mr. Baasanjav Ganbold, Head of ESCAP East and North-East Office said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the world. The journey to recovery is not easy, but countries must resist the urge to go back to ‘business as usual’. There is a small window of opportunity for China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea to lead the global recovery efforts. To fight against the virus and build back better together, solidarity and cooperation are vital.”
“China, Japan and the Republic of Korea have all successfully kept the outbreak of COVID-19 under control with low fatality rates by taking different strategies and measures. I hope their experiences can be widely shared within and beyond Asia and the Pacific to help countries flatten the curve,” shared Mr. Hisashi Michigami, Secretary-General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat.
Having started as a public health crisis, the COVID-19 has brought the greatest economic crisis in all corners of the world. Socio-economic impacts of the pandemic are also threatening to reverse years of hard-won development gains in the region. Regional cooperation on COVID-19 responses as well as joint actions to support countries in building back better will be essential.
During the webinar, experts shared different approaches and measures in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. In China, shelter hospitals enabled swift response to a massive surge of patients. Japan’s cluster-based approach of contact tracing helped identify infections more efficiently. Korean experiences showed that early implementation of nationwide massive testing is key to the containment of COVID-19. Panelists also highlighted the potential of regional cooperation for addressing infectious disease as well as measures for controlling a possible second wave of COVID-19.
With over 2,000 registered participants from 70 countries, the webinar featured Dr. Zunyou Wu, Chief Epidemiologist, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Hitoshi Oshitani, Professor, Tohoku University and member of the Japanese government’s advisory panel on COVID-19, Dr. Hyukmin Lee, Professor, Yonsei University and member of the Infectious Disease Control Committee of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sharing experiences in their countries. Dr. Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director of the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Western Pacific (WHO-WPRO), also participated as a guest speaker.
This webinar marks the first joint activity of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS), an international organization established with a vision to promote peace and common prosperity among China, Japan, and the Republic Korea.
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Mr. Wai Kit Si-Tou, Associate Social Affairs Officer
ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office
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