In the Asia Pacific region, outbreaks and public health emergencies caused by emerging infectious diseases continually threaten health security. On December 2019, a pneumonia of unknown cause was detected in Wuhan, China, and it was identified as a novel coronavirus, abbreviated as COVID-19, a week later. As of April 2020, more than 2.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 has been reported to WHO, including more than 163,000 deaths. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, and the outbreak declared as a Public Health Emergency has posed unprecedented economic and health crisis worldwide. Unfortunately ASEAN countries are no exception. All of member states have been affected by the pandemic, and a total of 30,509 confirmed cases and 1,198 deaths are reported as of April 22, 2020. In responding to the public health emergency, each countries takes different measure and approaches. For instance, Republic of Korea has been at the center of the COVID-19 challenge since January 2020, but preemptive and transparent quarantine measures combined with the public’s voluntary and democratic participation in such efforts are bringing gradual stability.  More importantly, massive-scale of diagnostic testing with a testing capacity of 13,000 tests per day has been conducted in order to minimize the damage and combat the outbreak through early diagnosis of the virus. The high number of confirmed cases in Korea is in fact a proof of the nation’s effective response led by advanced testing capacity.

The project is aiming to enhance the diagnostic capacity through providing the test kits and training for COVID-19 to the ASEAN countries. It may include personal protective equipment, chemical reagent, diagnostic test kits and/or PCR(Polymerase Chain Reaction) along with on-site training. By carefully assessing the current diagnostic capacity of each member state regarding COVID-19, it will identify needs and provide essential equipment, kits, and/or training which will enable them to perform rapid diagnostic tests and acquire accurate results.