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Press Release

(3.21.) Regular Briefing of Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters on COVID-19

  • Date : 2020-03-21
  • Hit : 2077

Regular Briefing of Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters on COVID-19

- ▲Current situation of and measures for cluster transmission in Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital and Daesil Nursing Hospital in Daegu, and ▲current status regarding supply and demand of masks, etc. -

□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters held a meeting today presided over by Head Chung Sekyun (Prime Minister) along with the central government and 17 cities and provinces to discuss ▲current situation of and measures for cluster transmission in Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital and Daesil Nursing Hospital in Daegu, and ▲current status regarding supply and demand of masks at a video conference room in Government Complex Seoul.

□ Head Chung said, at the meeting, the lack of masks in medical institutions is never acceptable, requesting the relevant ministries to review distribution system, and thoroughly survey demand to make sure they are seamlessly distributed.
○ Also, he urged the central and local governments to expedite thorough and rapid execution of the government’s financial support measures for small businesses.


1. Current situation of and measures for cluster transmission in Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital and Daesil Nursing Hospital in Daegu


□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters was reported on and reviewed the current status of and measures for cluster transmission in nursing hospitals by Gyeonggi-do (Province) and Daegu Metropolitan City.

○ Gyeonggi-do briefed mainly on the cluster infection and following measures in Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital while Daegu on the group infection and actions taken in Daesil Nursing Hospital in Daegu.

□ Head Chung urged each local government to deal with sporadically emerging group transmission and thoroughly control infection with caution and a sense of alert as if walking on thin ice.


2. Preparation for strengthened quarantine on entrants from Europe


□ The government will conduct the diagnostic tests for COVID-19 targeting all inbound travelers arriving from Europe from 00:00, March 22 (Sun). It plans to implement stronger measures to prevent COVID-19 from being imported to the country. Under this measure, those testing negative will go into self-quarantine for 14 days, or be managed ex post through active surveillance.

○ This measure was developed in consideration of a surge in the confirmed cases and deaths across the Europe and an increasing number of the confirmed cases** among arrivals from Europe*.

* (Mar. 18~20) the number of the inbound air travelers from Europe for 3 days 1,763 (Koreans 89.3%, foreign nationals 10.7%)
** (Based on the date of entry) (Mar. 13∼15) 6 confirmed, (Mar. 16) 1 confirmed, (Mar. 17) 9 confirmed, (Mar. 18) 1 confirmed, (Mar. 19) 6 confirmed

○ On March 22, the 1st day the procedure is to be implemented, a total of 8,512 air passengers will enter Korea. Among them, around 1,000 people are expected to enter the nation via 3 flights departing from Europe.

□ The government is comprehensively preparing for each step of quarantine so that from March 22 an average of 1,000 people can undergo diagnostic tests every day and stay in isolated facilities for some time.

< Strengthened quarantine mechanism on entrants from Europe >

○ First, the National Quarantine Station prepared for operating laboratories 24 hours a day and mobilizing more human resources to help entrants with symptoms including cough, fever stay in isolated facilities and accurately and rapidly conduct diagnostic tests.

- In particular, an isolation facility was additionally secured with 72 rooms aside from the existing isolation facilities.

○ Meanwhile, it is planned to organize the government joint support team to conduct diagnostic tests on asymptomatic entrants during the quarantine stage, and designate and operate 7 temporary living facilities with more than 1,000 rooms.

- Those without symptoms will undergo diagnostic tests in the temporary facilities and wait for results within 24 hours.

○ To the temporary living facilities, 52 medical workers* and 220 persons dispatched from different central and local governments will be assigned for specimen collection, and supportive works. Sufficient supplies are also scheduled to be placed including diagnostic test tools, personal protective equipment, personal hygiene tools, and daily necessities.

* Public health doctors 20, nurses 20, lab technicians 12 (to be placed on Mar. 21)

○ Also, those confirmed to have the virus will be transferred to pre-designated neighboring hospitals or community treatment centers depending on their classified severity.

□ To enhance effectiveness of the Special Entry Procedure, the government plans to apply even stronger follow-up management to those testing negative.

○ Under the special procedure, all people arriving from other countries should have their domestic contact numbers checked at the immigration stage, and answer every day if they have any symptom including fever or cough on the Self-Diagnosis Mobile App for 14 consecutive days.

○ Plus, Koreans and foreign nationals having domestic residence in Korea for long stay, even after showing negative test results, will go into self-quarantine for 14 days managed by the local governments, and monitored twice a day by the assigned public officials.

- Also, it is mandatory to install the “self-quarantine safety protection app”.

○ When violating self-quarantine order, foreign nationals as well as Koreans will face up to KRW 3 million fines and be excluded from targets benefiting from living expense support.

○ Foreign entrants to Korea staying for short period*, such as business purpose, will be subject to more enhanced active surveillance conducted by call centers of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

* Short-term stay visa holders: visa waiver (B1), short-term visit including tourism (B2, C3, C4)

- Under this measure, they should check if they have symptoms on the self-diagnosis application every day and the staff in charge will check on them over the phone.
- If not reached over the phone, officials from the police and health centers will conduct on-site inspection and try best to stop COVID-19 from spreading.


3. Current status of returned overseas Koreans in Iran and quarantine process


□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters presented the status of the diagnostic tests for COVID-19 conducted on the overseas Koreans in Iran and their family members having returned to Korea on March 19 (Thu) via the temporary flight.

○ A total of 80 Koreans and their family arrived at Incheon International Airport from Iran by taking that plane on March 19, and 2 of them displayed symptoms.

○ Two persons with symptoms went through the COVID-19 test at the central quarantine medical support center, Incheon Airport National Quarantine Station, and asymptomatic 78 persons were transported to KOICA training center in Seongnam for the diagnostic test.

- The result showed that two symptomatic cases were all negative but one out of 78 asymptomatic ones was positive.

□ The positive case was transferred to Seongnam Citizens Medical Center, designated medical institution, and the remaining 79 showing negative results are isolated in KOICA training center.
○ The government joint support team consisting of relevant ministries, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior and Safety, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare will provide assistance to the overseas Koreans staying in KOICA training center.

○ Medical workers (1 doctor, 2 nurses) are staying in the facility, check on and monitor their health. In case of showing symptoms, they transfer those patients to medical institutions.

□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters plans to thoroughly control infection to prevent the infectious disease from spreading to communities and ensure the returned Koreans can safely stay.


4. Current status regarding supply and demand of masks

※ A separate briefing is planned for this information. In case of any query, contact to the following information:

Ministry

Division

Contact Information

Ministry of Economy and Finance

Economic Policy Division

044-215-2710, 2712

Price Policy Division

044-215-2770, 2771

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

Bio-Convergence Industry Division

044-203-4390, 4391

Public Procurement Service

Procurement Planning Division

042-724-7210, 7265

Ministry of Food and Drug Safety

Customer Risk Prevention Policy Division

043-719-1711, 1722

※ All Koreans faced with issues regarding exorbitant prices of or hoarding masks and hand sanitizers are strongly advised to actively report to the authorities through the reporting center (02-2640-5057/5080/5087), customer call center (1372), and MFDS website (www.mfds.go.kr).

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