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Press Release

Follow-up measures against MERS

  • Date : 2015-07-28
  • Hit : 2955

Follow-up measures against MERS

Countermeasures against MERS will continue to be taken until this crisis is completely resolved.

A. The MOHW MER-CoV Response Task Force has announced "follow-up management measures against MERS," following the consensus among healthcare experts that MERS infection is no more a matter of concern (July 27), and the decision of the Government-Wide Meeting for MERS Response presided by the Prime Minister on July 28

B. The Ministry of Health and Welfare has announced that it will maintain and manage all of necessary response systems while actively taking follow-up measures until all things related to the outbreak of MERS are completely resolved.

a. MERS response task forces will continually be operated

- The Ministry of Health and Welfare will reorganize the MOHW MERS-CoV Response Task Force focusing on a situation room and a task force for follow-up measures against MERS, and will continue to run it until the outbreak is completely over.

- The Pan-Government MERS Countermeasures Support Center under the Ministry of Public Safety and Security will be operated only for the management of everyday situations.

- The MERS task forces established by city and province and public health centers in cities, counties or districts will be encouraged to build a network for emergency contacts and to flexibly operate depending on the situation

b. Nosocomial infection will continually be managed

- To prevent the outbreak and spread of emerging infectious diseases, the government will improve the two factors contributing to the spread of infection: the crowded emergency room conditions and the custom of many family members and friends visiting patients in the hospital.

- The government will prepare a bill which restricts visits by family members and friends to patients in the hospital, and requires visitors to sign their name in the register before going into emergency rooms and inpatient wards.

- First putting patients with pneumonia under quarantine will continue whenever infection occurs, and the recipients of support money for PCR tests will be decided among travelers returning from the Middle East, contacts and others.

- Selected facilities designated for patients in emergency departments within National Safety Hospitals will be maintained, and facilities for general patients will be flexibly operated depending on the situation.

c. Measures for preventing the outbreak of another MERS-CoV will be taken

- To stop any new MERS patient from entering the country among travelers from the Middle East, border quarantine measures against them and monitoring the development of symptoms such as fever will be maintained.

d. Government subsidies for confirmed cases will be provided

- As for the 12 cases under treatment, they will receive support for medical expenses. The discharged cases will be provided with a follow-up management program to assess aftereffects caused by the infectious disease and give appropriate medical services.

- Assistance will be provided for the treatment of aftereffects or funeral arrangements.

e. MERS-affected healthcare facilities will receive compensation

- Healthcare facilities, where confirmed cases were treated, will be compensated for losses. The government will give out 250 billion won to support them by securing a revised supplementary budget and reserve fund, and each amount of the compensation will be decided following the investigation of the task force for compensation and the consideration and decision of the compensation deliberation committee.

- The government will continue to lower interest on the Medical Network Loan by September, and provide in advance medical care benefits which involves 289.3 billion won in July and the second amounts in August. The number of prepayment date (the 22nd → the 7th) will be readjusted by degrees until the end of this year, in order to ease the burden of healthcare facilities.

f. The MERS Call Center (109) and the MERS portal site will be continually operated

- The MERS Call Center (109) will be operated until the outbreak of MERS is completely over, and will be used as the number for reporting infection in the future, following coordination among relevant ministries.

- The MERS portal site (www.mers.go.kr) will be continually operated for the maintenance of records about MERS and the sharing of information with the public.

C. The Ministry of Health and Welfare will make all-out efforts to enforce effective follow-up management measures until the outbreak is completely over. A comprehensive white paper on MERS will be produced, including the analysis and assessment of the progression of the outbreak and the response measures. Also, the government will come up with ways for revising the national response system, which involves measures for completely preventing the introduction of emerging infectious diseases in the initial stage, the establishment of a 24 hour a day/7 days a week situation monitoring system, and reorganization for preventing nosocomial infection; taking management measures; and strengthening adequate capacities for field response.

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