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

  • Date : 2020-03-11
  • Hit : 2521

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


- ▲Intensive management measures to prevent group transmission at high-risk places of business, ▲current status of establishing city and provincial patient management system, and ▲operation plan for 「Emergency Medical Center」, etc. -

□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters held a meeting today presided over Vice Head 1 Park Neunghoo (Minister of Health and Welfare) along with the central government and 17 cities and provinces to discuss ▲intensive management measures to prevent group transmission at high-risk places of business, ▲current status of establishing city and provincial patient management system, and ▲operation plan for 「Emergency Medical Center」 at a video conference room located on the 6th floor of Government Complex Sejong.

○ During the meeting, Vice Head 1 Park called for a thorough epidemiological investigation into group infection at the call center in Seoul and urged to swiftly develop and implement preventive measures to block the spread of the virus.

○ In particular, he emphasized that cooperation between local governments such as Gyeonggi and Incheon as well as Seoul is crucial as the recent mass transmission broke out in the capital area where the population is concentrated, reiterating the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters will also provide active support.


1. Intensive management measures to prevent group transmission at high-risk places of business


□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters decided places of business and facilities with high risk of group transmission and discussed measures to prevent COVID-19 and block its spread through the government’s intensive management.

○ This is because it is urgent to control group infection in places of business whose working environment is especially prone to transmission as shown in the recent mass infection at Guro-gu call center in Seoul*.

* A total of 90 cases confirmed due to group transmission at the call center (as of 7 a.m. March 11)

□ For places of business and facilities with high risk of infection transmitted by droplets where employees work in a confined and crowded space, the Headquarters reviewed the following preventive measures so as to lower the risk of infection at such places.

○ First measures are devised to reduce the risk of infection by lowering the density in workplaces in different ways such as telecommuting, flexible work, developing online-based work plans, rescheduling commute time and/or lunch hours, and adjusting desk distances in workplaces.

○ Other measures are designed to step up management of employees and users by checking fever or respiratory symptoms twice a day, excusing those with symptoms from work and users from using facilities, and managing the list of employees and visitors.

○ There are preventive measures conducted by each workplace such as providing hand sanitizers for sanitation and better environment in places of business, regular disinfection and ventilation, and assigning staff responsible for infection control.

□ Based on today’s discussion, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters will present common infection control guidelines for high-risk workplaces. Based on this, infection control guidelines for different types of workplaces plan to be developed and distributed through relevant ministries and local governments.


2. Current status of establishing city and provincial patient management system


□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters directs to establish the patient management system for each city and province to provide proper medical services to COVID-19 patients and minimize their damage.

* Patient management teams in 17 cities /provinces completed to be organized (March 9)

○ In order to subdivide patients’ conditions to properly allocate limited resources, and identify and rapidly treat high-risk groups including the elderly and patients with underlying diseases in particular, ① patients should be swiftly classified by the patient management teams (including doctors), ② they should be transferred to community treatment centers or hospitals specializing in infectious diseases considering their severity, and ③ referral system for critical patients should be developed.

□ The Headquarters reviewed the preparedness and operation status of each city and province at today’s meeting, and plans to manage the patient classification system to ensure it is well functioning.


3. Operation plan for 「Emergency Medical Center」


□ The Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the city and provincial governments designate and run 「Emergency Medical Center」 responsible for treating critically ill emergency patients with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, respiratory symptoms, etc.).

○ This is to solve the problem of emergency patients in severe conditions missing out on timely treatment (golden hour) in a situation where such patients fail to be admitted to emergency rooms as they are concerned over possible infection with the spread of COVID-19.

<Emergency Medical Center Designation Criteria (Draft)>

(Target) 2 or more from each city and province among tertiary E/R* (required), 1 or more from 70 hospital referral regions (recommended)

* Regional emergency medical centers, local emergency medical centers operated by tertiary general hospitalsuniversity hospitals, etc.

(Necessary Facilities) Isolated treatment zone(5 or more beds) Preliminary triage zonebefore entry into E/R

* Isolated (negative-pressure, general) bed, waiting room for caregivers, (severe condition) emergency patient treatment zone, renovating and using beds in and out of E/R

* Individually separated and isolated in isolated treatment zone (installing transparent partition, opaque partition is available if CCTV is individually installed)


□ In the designated 「Emergency Medical Center」, patients are first classified at “preliminary triage zone” depending on their severity and infection status (whether infected or not). Emergency patients in serious conditions confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 (with fever, respiratory symptoms, etc) are provided with emergency treatment in the separately “isolated treatment zone”.

○ Also, patients in mild conditions are restricted from entering E/R in 「Emergency Medical Center」 as it focuses on intensive treatment of critical emergency patients with suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

□ To support the operation of 「Emergency Medical Center」, fee schedule is additionally applied to the health insurance*, and costs for installing isolated treatment zones and procuring equipment including mobile X-ray are supported.

* (Severe condition) Emergency patient treatment zone observation fee + isolated room (negative-pressure, general) maintenance fee

○ In addition, protective gears will be first provided to medical workers in 「Emergency Medical Center」 to make sure they can safely provide emergency care.

□ In addition, the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the National Fire Agency established an appropriate hospital transfer system based on the possibility and severity of COVID-19 infection in consideration of the designation status of 「Emergency Medical Center」.

○ By doing so, critical emergency patients suspected to have COVID-19 are provided with support which helps them rapidly receive proper emergency medical services.

□ At the meeting on March 11, Minister Park Neunghoo of Health and Welfare stressed, “It is deemed necessary to rapidly designate 「Emergency Medical Center」 in cooperation with the local governments to make sure no critical emergency patient misses out on proper treatment due to suspected COVID-19 symptoms.”

4. Stabilizing mask distribution


※ MFDS plans to have a separate briefing regarding this information. In case of any query, contact to the following information:

Affiliation

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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