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Stand in Solidarity to Combat COVID-19: Virtual Meeting of Health Ministers in the WHO Western Pacific Region

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Western Pacific Region ministers to tackle COVID-19 in solidarity

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an unprecedented crisis that will require countries to stand together in solidarity to defeat it, prime ministers, health ministers and other senior officials agreed in a virtual meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific on 8 April 2020.

In recorded statements, three of the Region’s prime ministers—Fiji’s Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong and Viet Nam’s Nguyen Xuan Phuc—offered words of encouragement to the 14 ministers and vice ministers of health and 15 other senior officials from across the Region who participated in the virtual meeting. They emphasized that Member States in the Region must work together to fight a common enemy: COVID-19.

Statements from many countries and areas echoed the strong call to stand together, recognizing that no single country or area will be able to overcome COVID-19 in isolation. Such solidarity is rooted in the sharing of experiences and information, as well as mutual support. Close coordination—at the sub-regional, regional and global levels—is critical to sustain solidarity.

“We have a tradition of supporting and learning from one another across this diverse Region. These values are now more important than ever. Let us continue to stand in solidarity to combat COVID-19,” said WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasai.