Duterte optimistic Southeast Asia can beat COVID-19 with Asean’s help
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday expressed optimism that the current COVID-19 situation in Southeast Asia will be overcome with cooperation from fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) member countries.
— DFA Philippines (@DFAPHL) August 8, 2020
“Bouncing back from a pandemic appears to be a daunting task,” the Chief Executive said in a statement on Saturday for Asean’s 53rd anniversary.
The Philippines is one of the five founding members of the regional bloc.
“But if pursued with friends, the burden is shared and transformed into an opportunity to create a more resilient Southeast Asian region,” Duterte added.
“With a deeper sense of common purpose, we will continue to work together as one Asean and strengthen partnerships with friends and outside the region.”
The President then expressed confidence that the “Asean way” of partnership and mutual aid will help the Philippines overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to move forward with “community-building endeavors.”
Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has infected 19.5 million people worldwide and has claimed the lives of 724,075 people.
In the Philippines, there are 122,754 COVID-19 cases, with 66,852 recoveries and 2,168 fatalities.
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