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Pres. Moon orders inspection of everyone from Wuhan

Posted January. 28, 2020 08:48,   

Updated January. 28, 2020 08:48


South Korean President Moon Jae-in held an emergency meeting on Monday in his office regarding the so-called “Wuhan pneumonia,” a new strain of coronavirus. Acknowledging the urgency of the issue, the president cancelled the Lunar New Year event where he was going to have rice cake soup with his senior advisors after receiving a bow from them and replaced it with the meeting. This meeting took place one week after the first confirmed case was reported in Seoul last Monday.

Urging his advisors to go all out to contain the spread of the deadly virus, President Moon ordered them to be proactive in their response to the infection by inspecting everyone who arrived from Wuhan. “Do everything you can to prevent the spread of the virus, and make sure to examine all possible measures and respond quickly,” Moon said. The meeting was attended by all chief advisors of the presidential office including Chief of Staff Noh Young-min, Chief Presidential Secretary for Policy Kim Sang-jo, Director of the National Security Office Chung Eui-young.

The order for the blanket inspection came amid growing fears over the spread of the infection from people who arrived from Wuhan with an increase in the number of confirmed cases. President Moon spoke of the need for tracking those who came from Wuhan given the long incubation period.

The president also asked his staffs to closely monitor the impact of the virus on the Korean economy, which is interpreted as a request to minimize the damage of this unexpected drag on the economy after he publicly said that economic indicators would improve this year.

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com