S. Korea opens discussion on changing quarantine protocol

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : April 10, 2020, 17:51 | Updated : April 10, 2020, 17:51

A file picture shows health officials disinfecting a subway train in Seoul. [Photo by Yoo Dae-kil = dbeorlf123@ajunews.com]

SEOUL -- With debate still on the table abroad over whether the global pandemic has reached its peak, South Korea opened official discussions on how to implement a new protocol in which daily life and economic activities can proceed in harmony with quarantine.

A committee involving government officials and experts held its first meeting on Friday when South Korea reported 27 new daily infections. A total of 3,333 patients are still in hospital for treatment while 7,117 others have been cured. The virus has killed 208 people.

The meeting led by Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo discussed a new system that blocks the spread of infectious diseases while allowing some activities to address public fatigue and sluggish economic activities.

"Daily life and measures necessary for quarantine are balanced to protect ourselves from the dangers of infectious diseases," Deputy Health and Welfare Minister Kim Kang-rip said. "We will collect public opinions and make it into a completed form when the basic contents are released next week."

Park stressed the change should not weaken social distancing. "Until vaccines or treatments are developed, we must create and practice a new daily routine that harmonizes with social distance," he said, respecting concerns among some medical experts about a second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic.

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