Asia
Moon stresses need for 'clear turning point' in fight against coronavirus

Moon stresses need for 'clear turning point' in fight against coronavirus

Feb 25, 2020

Seoul (South Korea) Feb 25: President Moon Jae-in set this week as a deadline for a "clear turning point" in desperate efforts to counter the COVID-19 outbreak, as he made a visit to Daegu, the source of the rapid proliferation of the deadly virus recently in South Korea, on Tuesday.
He described the situations as "very grave" and said it's not enough to declare the city, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, as a "special disaster zone."
His government earlier tagged the city of 2.5 million people and Cheongdo, a nearby county, as a "special care zone" due to a sharp uptick in the number of confirmed cases there over the past several days. Hundreds of people, largely followers of the Sincheonji religious group, were diagnosed with the virus. Their Daegu church is presumed to be the epicenter.
Moon's remarks indicated that his administration is considering designating Daegu, probably along with some adjacent areas, as a special disaster zone eligible for speedy financial and other administrative support with minimized red tape.
"The government will muster pan-national capabilities and win the fight against the virus together with Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province," he said.
To that end, he added, there should be a "clear turning point this week in the upward trend of the number of confirmed patients."
What is important is "time and speed," he emphasized.
The president pledged "sufficient" financial support for quarantine measures that would be reflected in the government's proposal of an emergency supplementary budget.
Source: Yonhap News Agency