Thailand has suffered severe economic losses and social disturbance due to the global outbreak of diseases or pandemics. In January 2004, the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus of the H5N1 subtype was first confirmed in poultry and humans in Thailand.
The ASEAN Health Sector has been engaged in the prevention, detection, and response to COVID-19 since the first week of January 2020 when information about the cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City was shared with the ASEAN Secretariat.
Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most disasterprone regions in the world. From 2012 to 2018,1,218 disasters occurred in the region, causing an estimated yearly damage of 15.9 billion US dollars, three times ASEAN’s collective annual GDP.
Countries around the globe face various types of catastrophic disasters. Tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, cyclones, typhoons, floods, drought, and other climate change-related hazards are among the most common natural disasters. Their intensity and unpredictability have resulted in great loss of lives and damages to property and infrastructure.
Myanmar, which has a very long coastal line at 2,228 kilometers, is mainly exposed to water-related disasters. The decade before Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in 2008, large-scale disasters had been occurring in three- to five- year intervals.
“One ASEAN, One Response” is far from just a tagline. It is a well thought out concept born out of a necessity to connect the real disaster experience from ground zero to the highest level of the diplomatic arena in ASEAN. It was borne from ASEAN’s experience in its response to the 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones known to mankind that killed more than 6,000 people in the Philippines.
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