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Press Release

(2.1) Regular IMS briefing on Novel Coronavirus Infection

  • Date : 2020-02-01
  • Hit : 2760

Regular IMS briefing on Novel Coronavirus Infection

- Expansion of IMS, transportation of Korean citizens from Wuhan, etc. -

□ The Central Incident Management System for Novel Coronavirus Infection (led by Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo) has expanded its meetings to encompass all relevant ministries to move forward in its role of supporting infection control and ensure greater efficiency in deciding matters that require a prompt pan-governmental response such as infection control for Chinese students studying in Korea, inbound travelers, and foreign workers.

○ IMS meetings encompassing all relevant ministries will be presided over by the Minister of Health and Welfare and attended by the vice ministers of the related ministries. Two to three meetings will be held each week, followed by a joint briefing on major decisions.

○ Each ministry will establish a director-level TFT dedicated to responding to Novel Coronavirus and station one of its government officials at IMS.

□ In order to block the spread of Novel Coronavirus infection, healthcare providers and pharmacies are now able to check each patient's history of travel in advance and take prompt measures when identifying those who show symptoms and have a history of travel to China.

○ Currently, healthcare providers can check patients' history of travel to China through the Patient Status Checking System, International Traveler Information System (ITS), and Drug Utilization Review (DUR). The information checking rate through these systems drastically rose from 54.1% to 82.1% over the past six days, powered by system improvements and aggressive publicity.

* Information checking rate: (January 25) 54.1% → (January 29) 71.8% → (January 30) 77.7% → (January 31) 82.1%

○ As of January 31, the pharmacy computerization system was connected to the Patient Status Checking System to enable pharmacies to track a patient's travel history from the initial stage.

□ Also on January 31, KRW 18.8 billion was provided to purchase portable X-ray devices needed at screening clinics under public health centers to screen whether patients in suspected cases have developed pneumonia.

□ The review of the public notice to ban the price-hiking and stockpiling of medical face masks and hand sanitizers by the Ministry of Government Legislation was completed yesterday. To ensure the stable supply and price stabilization of these products, the government will continue to ▲ promote their production, ▲ encourage manufacturers to center on domestic sales, ▲ expand purchase opportunities for consumers, and ▲ closely monitor market-disturbing acts.

□The government will stringently respond to any leaks of patient information and the spread of false information online.

○ IMS already requested a police investigation on the leak of information about a confirmed case and announced that it would also request an investigation on the spread of groundless information*.
* E.g., fabricated stories about three cases being confirmed in Seongnam and Hwaseong and the death of the fourth confirmed patient in Pyeongtaek

□ Updates were shared regarding the transportation of Korean citizens from Wuhan.

○ The second chartered flight departed from Wuhan Airport at 18:10 today (local time) and arrived at Gimpo International Airport at 20:15. Among the 348 applicants for the second chartered flight, 332 boarded the plane and 16 decided, at their own discretion, to remain in China. Along with one Korean citizen who was sent home and excluded from the first round of evacuation due to a fever, a total of 333 passengers passed the quarantine conducted on the Chinese side.

○ None showed a fever in the fever testing conducted by the Korean staff prior to boarding, and four checked that they were experiencing symptoms (cough, expectoration, sore throat, and other respiratory problems) on the health condition questionnaire. These four were all classified as "people with symptoms" and were separated in the first-class section.

○ Upon their arrival at Gimpo International Airport, three were identified to have a fever, cough, etc., during the quarantine screening. As a result, seven in total were transferred to the National Medical Center.

○ Among 368 Korean citizens evacuated in the first round, 18 showed symptoms. Eleven among them tested negative and were then transported to the temporary living facilities, while seven are still awaiting the results. One citizen transported to the Police Human Resources Development Institute was found to have a sore throat and was transferred to a healthcare institution for isolated treatment. This person also tested negative. The results of the testing of samples collected from all the returning Korean citizens before entering the temporary living facilities are expected to come out within today at the earliest as the number of test subjects is quite large.

< Attachment > Stationing of representatives from relevant ministries at IMS and creation of a TFT at each ministry

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