Health official: gov't can respond to worst-case COVID-19 scenario


Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Kim Gang-lip (second from left) on June 24 discusses the government's capacity to respond to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a forum on Korea's response to and tasks in the pandemic at Blue Square in Seoul's Yongsan-gu District.

By Kim Young Deok and Lee Jihae
Photos = Jeon Han
Seoul | June 24, 2020

Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Kim Gang-lip on June 24 said the government has enough beds, medical personnel, resources and capacity to respond to even a worst-case scenario of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Concurrently general coordinator of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters, he told a forum held by Seoul National University and unofficially titled "COVID-19 Pandemic, Korea's Response and Tasks II" at Blue Square in Seoul's Yongsan-gu District, "The government is monitoring and predicting the presently unfolding situation by the minute."

"If we prevent momentary carelessness (by the people) from spreading a small infection source, we can continue leading the control of a range of situations."

The vice minister said the government's response to COVID-19 contains the elements of innovation, flexibility, governance and tolerance.

On an innovative and flexible response to the pandemic, he said, "We've conducted more extensive and preemptive testing than any other country through the use of artificial intelligence and development of diagnostic testing technology."

He cited the country's active adoption of walk-thru and drive-thru screening clinics and the operation of lifestyle treatment centers for patients with mild symptoms.

Vice Minister Kim said Korea achieved quarantine through engagement and solidarity with the international community, adding, "We guaranteed necessary international exchanges through a special entry process. Our implementation of quarantine through the continuance of daily life and without a long-term lockdown can be commended."


Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Kim Gang-lip on June 24 speaks at a forum unofficially titled "COVID-19 Pandemic, Korea's Response and Tasks II," saying the government can respond to even a worst-case scenario of the pandemic.

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