Manila, April 20 US President Donald Trump and his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte discussed possible bilateral cooperation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a phone call, at a time of tense relations between the two countries.
The call, on Sunday night, was confirmed to the local media on Monday by Senator Bong Go, Duterte's former special adviser, who did not give any other details of the conversation, reports Efe new.
The US is the country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, 759,467 and 40,677 deaths; while the Philippines is the country in Southeast Asia with the highest number of infections, 6,259 and 409 deaths.
The Philippines began massive tests last week to isolate positive, even asymptomatic, cases to contain the disease.
The relationship between Trump and Duterte has been tense after the US Senate passed a law in January that imposed sanctions for Filipino officials implicated in human rights violations in the drug war and in the "illegal detention" of opposition senator Leila de Lima.
Duterte responded in retaliation by suspending the troop visit agreement, key to close military cooperation between the two countries, and formally rejected Trump's invitation for an official visit to Washington.
( With inputs from IANS )