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Press Release

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

  • Date : 2020-03-12
  • Hit : 5233

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

- ▲Plan for expanding countries subject to special immigration procedure, ▲intensive management guideline for places of business to prevent COVID-19, and ▲current response to and action plan for COVID-19 by city and province, etc. -

□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters held a meeting presided over by Head Chung Sekyun (Prime Minister) along with the central government and 17 cities and provinces to discuss ▲plan for expanding countries subject to special immigration procedure, ▲intensive management guideline for places of business to prevent COVID-19, and ▲current response to and action plan for COVID-19 by city and province at a video conference room located on the 19th floor of Government Seoul Complex.

○ As the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the recent outbreak a pandemic, Head Chung directed, at the meeting, to take necessary measures in advance while paying attention to preventing an influx as well as internal spread of the virus.

○ He also requested to improve "mask application" which started to be used from yesterday so as to minimize the inconvenience of the public.


1. Plan for expanding countries subject to special immigration procedure


□ The government announced that it would expand the special immigration procedure of inbound travelers (Koreans and foreign nationals) visiting or staying in major European countries with the community-based spread of COVID-19 across Europe.

○ The five target countries* are France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Those entering Korea via other countries (Dubai, Moscow, etc.) within the last 14 days after departing from Europe are subject to the special immigration procedure after being separated from passengers traveling on direct flights at the immigration stage.


* (March 4∼11, No. of change in the confirmed cases) France (130→1,402 cases, increase by approx. 10.8 times), Germany (196→1,139, approx. 5.8 times), Spain (150→1,024, approx. 6.8 times)

< Countries Subject to Special Immigration Procedure >

Current

Expanded (To be applied from 00:00, March 15)

China (Feb. 4~), Hong Kong, Macao (Feb. 12~)

Japan (Mar. 9~), Italy, Iran (Mar. 12~)

France, Germany, Spain, UK, Netherlands

The same to be applied to travelers having arrived via other countries


○ The expanded procedure will be applied from 00:00, March 15 (Sun).

□ The government has applied the special immigration procedure* to countries where confirmed cases are widespread or community-based spread is taking place.

* (After Feb. 4) The special immigration procedure has been cumulatively applied to a total of 3,432 flights and vessels, 122,519 passengers (as of March 10).

○ Those subject to the special procedure shall undergo fever testing and have their special quarantine declaration checked. Their address of residence and contact information are all checked.

○ Such inbound travelers are also mandated to install mobile "self-diagnosis app" and submit self-diagnosis results for 14 consecutive days upon arrival. If the results show responders have symptoms for 2 consecutive days, such cases are contacted to health centers, which will check if they are suspected to have the virus or need tests.


2. Intensive management guideline for places of business to prevent COVID-19


□ The Central Disease Control Headquarters (Head Jung Eunkyeong, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Central Disaster Management Headquarters (Head Park Neunghoo, Minister of Health and Welfare) developed guidelines for intensive management for places of business to prevent COVID-19.

○ This is because it is necessary to define management procedures and measures to prevent infection and spread due to the increase in group transmission at places of business whose work environment is especially prone to transmission such as call centers.

□ Each ministry will designate and mange target places of business subject to intensive management.

○ The targets* include places of business and facilities frequented by the public with a risk of group transmission where people are concentrated in a confined space and have a high risk of infection transmitted by droplets or contacts.

* Call center, karaoke room, internet cafe, sports center, religious facility, club, private academy, etc.

□ The major contents of the intensive management guidelines for workplaces to prevent COVID-19 are as follows.

○ First, the target places subject to intensive management should establish an infection control system within the workplace.

- Each workplace should designate a manager (team leader or higher level) responsible for infection control, assign duties of COVID-19 prevention and control*, and set up an immediate response system in case of infection.

* (Employee management) Monitoring and reporting employees with symptoms, (Workplace environment management) Keeping items at workplaces for hygiene and sanitation, etc.

- Emergency contact system is established with relevant agencies (city and district health centers and medical facilities) so as to immediately respond when a suspected case (suspected case, case with symptoms) is found.

○ Next, infection prevention and control should be stepped up at places of business.

- For employees and users, information on COVID-19 is provided, and education and awareness-raising activities are conducted to prevent infection such as hand washing, cough etiquette.

- For prevention, the environment in workplaces is thoroughly managed by providing enough hand sanitizers, strengthening disinfection of places and items frequented by many people, and regularly ventilating for cleaner air.

○ In addition, target places of business subject to intensive management should thoroughly manage their employees, users, and visitors.

- For employees, fever or respiratory symptoms should be checked twice a day, and users or visitors should have fever checked before entering the places.

- Employers or facility managers proactively direct employees with fever or respiratory symptoms not to work.

- Such employees excused from work should be given leaves and never be disadvantaged.

○ Also, it is necessary to practice social distancing in workplaces.

- Handshake or contact should be avoided with employees or visitors.

- Efforts should be made to improve work environment such as widening distances between seats to at least 1 m.

- Office hours (commute time) or lunchtime should be readjusted to avoid congestion and a certain distance be kept while having meals.

- Facilities frequently used by many people should be temporarily closed such as lounge, multi-purpose rooms.

※ Refrain from having refreshments or lunch together at lounge

- Unnecessary group events, small meetings, business trips should be postponed or canceled.

○ In addition, workplaces subject to intensive management should immediately report to the responsible health centers when a suspected case is identified in the workplace.

- A suspected patient should wear a mask and wait in the isolated space until transported to a screening clinic.

※ A suspected patient who has undergone a test will be self-isolated until the test result comes out.

- After transferring the suspected patient to a health center, disinfect the isolated area the patient stayed by using disinfectants such as alcohol and sodium hypochlorite.

□ Based on the intensive management guidelines for places of business to prevent COVID-19, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters directed ministries to establish and implement infection control guidelines for each workplace and facility they oversee.

○ Also, it was requested to continuously check if they abide by and implement the guidelines through on-site inspections.


3. Current response to and action plan for COVID-19 by city and province


□ At today's meeting, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters was briefed on and reviewed current response to and measures against COVID-19 from Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do, and Gangwon-do.

○ The four cities and provinces reported their current status of COVID-19, that of establishing the patient treatment system*, and the status of and management plan for high-risk places of business and living facilities for the vulnerable.

* Current status of developing patient triage system, secured beds, and the status of and plan for community treatment centers

○ In addition, they suggested the necessary matters to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters, and also shared areas which require cooperation with other cities and provinces.

□ Head Chung emphasized the important roles of local governments in preventing COVID-19 and its spread.

○ Each city and province were requested to establish a stable patient treatment system, and put utmost efforts to prevent the virus, centering on high-risk workplaces and living facilities for the vulnerable.

○ The Headquarters emphasized that it would spare no support for local governments in this process.


4. Current status of and future plan for community treatment center


□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters said that a total of 2,470 patients* with mild symptoms are admitted to 14 community treatment centers in total as of 8:00 am, March 12.

* No. of currently admitted patients ① Daegu 1 (National Education Training Institute) 128 patients, ② Daegu 2 (Kyungpook National University dormitories) 368 patients, ③ Gyeongbuk Daegu 1 (Samsung HRD Center) 209 patients, ④ Gyeongbuk Daegu 2 (Nonghyup Training Institute) 186 patients, ⑤ Gyeongbuk Daegu 3 (SNUH HRD Center) 106 patients, ⑥ Gyeongbuk Daegu 4 (Hanti Archdiocese of Daegu Retreat Center) 67 patients, ⑦ Gyeongbuk Daegu 5 (Daegu Bank Training Center) 45 patients, ⑧ Gyeongbuk Daegu 7 (LG Display dormitories) 305 patients, ⑨ Gyeongbuk Daegu 8 (Hyundai Motor Training Institute) 260 patients, ⑩ Gyeongbuk 1 (KOSME Daegu·Gyeongbuk Training Institute) 57 patients, ⑪ Chungnam Daegu 1 (Korea Post Officials Training Institute) 306 patients, ⑫ Chungbuk Daegu 1 (NHIS HRD Center) 109 patients, ⑬ Chungbuk Daegu 2 (NPS Cheongpung Resort) 155 patients, ⑭ Jeonbuk Daegu 1(Samsung Life Jeonju Training Institute) 169 patients, ⑮ Chungbuk Daegu 3 (IBK Training Center)

○ 177 were additionally admitted to the centers compared to the previous day (3 from hospitals, 174 from homes).

- 11 patients admitted to the centers who had aggravated symptoms of pneumonia and respiratory difficulty were referred to hospitals for intensive care.

- In the meantime, 31 patients from Daegu 1 Center (National Education Training Institute) and 16 from Gyeongbuk Daegu 2 Center (Nonghyup Training Institute) were cured and discharged, making a total of 108 have been cured and discharged from the community treatment centers.

○ On the other hand, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters announced that it will strengthen the psychological support to patients having a hard time enduring stressful infection and isolation at the community treatment centers.

- The Korean Neuropsychiatric Association helped neuropsychiatry specialists, members of the association, to be assigned to the centers in order to provide professional psychiatric counseling aside from psychological support services already provided.

- In addition, 1-month free pass provided by online video service (Watcha Play) was distributed to all patients in the centers, helping them enjoy various contents such as movies and dramas during the admission.

○ Gachon University Gil Medical Center plans to be joining and provide medical support for the newly opened Chungbuk Daegu 3 Center (IBK Chungju Training Center, capacity 179 persons) this afternoon, which would accommodate new mild cases. Healthcare staff plans to be dispatched for stable medical monitoring and services.

※ (Already participating hospitals) Kyungpook National University Hospital, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Korea University Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Catholic University of Korea Seoul, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Incheon Hallym Hospital, Ilsan Hospital, Gangwon National University Hospital, Asan Medical Center, Jeonbuk National University Hospital, etc.

□ The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters improved medical support system to make sure admitted patients can be promptly transferred to medical facilities to receive necessary hospital care when their symptoms worsen. To this end, the Headquarters designated medical institutions ranging from local medical centers to general hospitals in each city and province where each treatment center is located for seamlessly connected medical care.

* Considering that patients in mild conditions are admitted to the centers, connected medical institutions were designated centered on local medical centers closest to community treatment centers (among 14 centers, 11 centers accommodated patients transported from different areas from where the accommodating centers are located).

○ The city and provincial authorities of the centers asked for full cooperation so that patients in the centers can be rapidly transferred to the related medical institutions within the cities or provinces.

5. Stabilizing mask distribution


※ Refer to a separate briefing for 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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