As a response to heightened global interest in Korea's exemplary response to COVID-19, the government on Oct. 12 published the English-language book "All About Korea's Response to COVID-19."

By Lee Hana and Lee Jihae

The government has published an English-language book that comprehensively outlines the country's systematic response to COVID-19.

Given rising global interest in Korea's exemplary fight against the pandemic, the book "All About Korea's Response to COVID-19" was released on Oct. 12. 

The book is targeted at both foreign policymakers and readers and provides an overall view of Korea's quarantine system.

It gives a detailed explanation of progress in the development of Korea's response to COVID-19, the national response system for the pandemic and its operation, the government's "3T (test, trace and treatment)" approach, and immigration and screening measures.

The book cites the core values of K-quarantine as "openness, transparency, civic engagement and innovativeness" and mentions the social environment factors that form the cornerstone of the country's COVID-19 response system, including its experience with and handling of MERS, advanced information and communications technology, and public participation.

The book is available in the link below or the section titled "Korea's Response to COVID-19" on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' English-language website.


The U.S. business magazine Forbes on Sept. 3 ranked Korea third safest for COVID-19 among 100 countries. (Screen capture from Forbes)

By Kim Minji and Lee Jihae

Deputy Prime Minister and Economy and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, citing a Forbes survey ranking Korea the third safest for COVID-19 among 100 countries, on Sept. 16 said, "This is an opportunity to confirm Korea's outstanding quarantine capacity."

Earlier on Sept. 3, the U.S. business magazine had ranked Korea just after Germany and New Zealand in the article "The 100 Safest Countries For COVID-19: Updated" based on a report by a Hong Kong-based think tank.

The study rated safety in 250 countries based on economy, politics and health related to COVID-19 using big data spanning six categories including quarantine efficacy, 30 indexes and 140 variables.

Korea ranked tenth in June when the global rankings were first announced and thus moved up seven notches. 

Sharing the nation's jump in rankings on Facebook, Minister Hong said, "COVID-19 is not just the number of confirmed patients or deaths but holds another meaning in quantifying each country's capacity to respond to COVID-19."

"Detailed analysis has confirmed that despite being one of the world's most densely populated countries, Korea has confirmed the excellence of K-quarantine through its remarkable quarantine capacity."

He added, "The higher ranking reflects civic quarantine efforts nationwide, policy toward public welfare and efforts to revive the economy."



A new test kit that confirms the result of a test for COVID-19 within just 15 minutes is expected to reduce the burden of onsite hospital personnel. The photo above is of hospital staff on June 2 testing samples at a screening clinic in Bupyeong-gu District of Incheon. (Yonhap News)

By Kim Young Deok and Lee Jihae

A new test kit for COVID-19 allows a user to visually confirm within 15 minutes whether he or she is infected with the coronavirus.

The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of the Interior and Safety on July 30 said the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology utilized the combined response of an antigen and an antibody to develop a fast diagnostic technology for antigens.

If a person tests positive for COVID-19, the kit changes color in about 15 minutes, allowing the testee to visually confirm if he or she contracted the coronavirus.

The commercialization of the kit will allow cheaper and faster testing if a surge of infections occurs, thus reducing the workload of onsite hospital personnel.

Both ministries said the aim is to produce items utilizing this technology within this year.



The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Election Commission on Aug. 19 held a videoconference with the Organization of American States to share with Latin America the Korean experience of holding a general election amid COVID-19. The photo above is of a voter in Korea's general elections on April 15 at a voting booth in Seoul's Jongno-gu District. (Yonhap News)

By Kim Hyelin and Lee Jihae

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Election Commission on Aug. 19 held a videoconference with the Organization of American States (OAS) to share with Latin America Korea's experience of safely holding its general elections on April 15 this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was held in a Q&A format to detail Korea holding its 21st general elections at the OAS's request made on June 10.

The OAS was founded in 1948 to bolster solidarity and cooperation among countries in the Americas, with 35 member states including 33 in Central and South America, the U.S. and Canada. Korea has been a permanent observer of the OAS since 1981.

Through its support for the activities of the Korea-OAS Electoral Observation Mission since 2002, Seoul has helped the protection and development of democracy and human rights in OAS member nations. 

The ministry said it hopes the videoconference will augment cooperation in election preparation of Latin American countries with upcoming elections such as Bolivia, whose presidential election is in October; Chile, which has a referendum on a constitutional amendment in the same month; and Peru, which elects a new president in April next year.



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.

20200612_Korea's quarantine

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on June 11 announced a roadmap to make Korea's disinfection model a global standard at the sixth meeting of the Central Economic Response Headquarters at Government Complex-Seoul. The photo shows a medical worker checking equipment used to test for the novel coronavirus disease. (Yonhap News)

By Xu Aiying and Yoon Sojung

With Korea's response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) receiving global accolades, the government has devised a roadmap to make the nation's disinfection model a global standard.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on June 11 announced plans to devise the roadmap at the sixth meeting of the Central Economic Response Headquarters at Government Complex-Seoul.

The roadmap seeks to build the "K-disinfection model," based on the "3T" concept of test, trace and treatment, in a systematic manner and propose a combined 18 global standards to the International Standard Organization.

In the testing and confirmation stage, Korea will propose six standards such as diagnostic agents, testing methods and management of testing centers to accurately diagnose the coronavirus and classify confirmed cases. In the clinical research and trace stage, it will propose four standards including a mobile app to effectively trace and manage people in self-isolation, as well as a support system for clinical research. And in the isolation and treatment stage, eight standards will be proposed like the operation of lifestyle treatment centers to isolate and treat confirmed patients and social distancing guidelines.

The plan also includes the standardization of clinical data and standard materials, both of which are obtained in the disinfection research and development process.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yun-mo said, "In the past, when a deadly infectious disease broke out in the international community, a standardized disinfection model was unavailable. For this reason, proposing standardization under our leadership holds significance."

"Through the standardization of the Korean disinfection model as the global standard, we will strive to bolster our leadership and use this as an opportunity to lead the new international order."




Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha on May 26 gives a speech in a videoconference on the launch of the Group of Friends for Solidarity and Inclusion with Global Citizenship Education in an event hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

By Lee Kyoung Mi and Lee Jihae

The government has launched an intergovernmental cooperative group led by Korea to boost international cooperation and respond to acts of hatred and discrimination that violate human rights amid the global spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 26 announced that it hosted a videoconference on the launch of the Group of Friends for Solidarity and Inclusion with Global Citizenship Education.

The government led the formation of the group centered on UNESCO representatives to lead  discussions on major issues in global society such as hatred and discrimination, based on international praise for Korea's exemplary response to COVID-19.

Comprising 11 countries including the chair Korea, Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh and Colombia, the group will be run as an open cooperative body so that other UNESCO member states can also participate.

About 110 officials including Minister Kang, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO diplomatic corps and secretariat officials took part in the videoconference for the group's launch.

The group adopted a joint statement saying that under a mindset of solidarity and tolerance, the international community will oppose hatred and discrimination, and through boosted educational activities for people worldwide, it will also strengthen global cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era.

"Prejudice, discrimination, stigmatization and xenophobia due to COVID-19 not only violates the fundamentals of human rights but also hinders quarantine," Minister Kang said in a congratulatory message.

She emphasized the importance of education for the world to respond to these issues, saying, "I hope the group becomes an action-oriented platform so that various discussions lead to practical policy proposals."

Director-General Azoulay thanked the minister and Korean representatives for forming the group, adding that she actively welcomes the establishment of a group for solidarity and tolerance led by Korea at a time when the importance of solidarity has grown.



Korea discusses with world quarantine cooperation for COVID-19_en

By Xu Aiying and Lee Jihae
Graphics = Kim Hyun Sook

Newsletter Sign Up

By clicking "submit," you agree to receive emails from Bron2Global and accept our web terms of use and privacy and cookie policy*Terms apply.