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Special disease control measures to be taken in Seoul and nearby region

Special disease control measures to be taken in Seoul and nearby region

Posted March. 17, 2021 07:33,   

Updated March. 17, 2021 07:33


The South Korean government will conduct special disease control measures to reduce the number of COVID-19 patients in Seoul and the nearby region. The goal is to reduce the country’s current daily cases between 300 and 500 to below 300 by March 27.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters held a meeting attended by local governments of Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, and their sub-branches on Tuesday and set the next two weeks as a special disease control period for the metropolitan and nearby region. Currently, 70 to 80 percent of new daily COVID-19 cases between 300 and 500 are from the metropolitan and nearby region. The plan is to focus disease control efforts in the area to reduce COVID-19 infections.

The Seoul metropolitan government will strengthen disease control efforts in public facilities that are visited by a growing number of people in spring.

Thirty types of facilities, including parks and amusement parks, department stores and malls, and wholesale and retail markets, will be selected for special efforts until the end of this month. A responsible person will be designated per facility to ensure compliance with rules, such as proper social distancing and no talking during breaks. Facilities with repeated violation reports will receive a closer inspection. The metropolitan government is also conducting preliminary COVID-19 tests for workers at 820 public baths and saunas in Seoul and customers who use sleeping rooms.

In Gyeonggi Province, business owners are required to check COVID-19 PCR test results before hiring foreign workers from Monday. Only those with negative test results can be hired. In case of violation, administrative measures, such as fines, will be imposed.

The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Employment and Labor are also inspecting around 4,000 business places with foreign workers. The Ministry of Justice is promoting in areas with a large number of foreigners that undocumented foreigners will not be deported or face other disadvantages as a result of COVID-19 tests.

Sung-Gyu Kim sunggyu@donga.com