Coronavirus— South Korean FM Speaks with Czech FM

  • Kang recently explained the situation in Korea with COVID-19, and Petricek appreciated Korea's effective response to COVID-19.
  • South Korea currently seems to be winning the war against COVID-19.
  • Churches are now open, but those who come to pray are required to stand away from each other and wear masks.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha made a phone call with her Czech counterpart, Tomas Petricek, and exchanged opinions on the cooperation measures related to the response to the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19). This is also the 30th anniversary of bilateral relations between Seoul and Prague.

Czech Republic–South Korea relations are foreign relations between the Czech Republic and South Korea. The foreign relations between the Czech Republic and South Korea were established on March 22, 1990.

Kang recently explained the situation in Korea with COVID-19, and Petricek appreciated Korea’s effective response to COVID-19. He expressed his appreciation for its cooperation with the export of diagnostic kits and sharing experiences. Kang highly praised the two countries for their close cooperation in the COVID-19 response process, including support for overseas Koreans returning to Korea and entering the Czech Republic by Korean businessmen.

South Korea currently seems to be winning the war against COVID-19. Last week, for the first time, not a single case of local transmission was reported throughout the day. The infection began to spread in mid-February, followed by a day without a new case for the first time. However, nine new cases were reported last Thursday. According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), only one of the nine cases was a local infection, with the remaining eight came from abroad.

The total number of reported cases in South Korea, including these new infection figures, reached 10,804. South Korea was once considered one of the world’s leading centers of infection. In that sense, it is possible South Korea would have to deal with the infection in a systematic way, without a lockdown in the cities. “This is the strength of South Korea and its citizens,” South Korean President Moon Ji-in said.

There was a sudden surge in cases of coronavirus infection in South Korea in February. A religious sect was responsible for that. The infection was spread by followers of the sect in the city of Daegu, in the southwest corner. A member of Shincheonji Church of Jesus was infected with the coronavirus, and it spread to about a dozen of them. Coronavirus infection later spread to thousands of followers of that group.

There was also a stage where the total of cases were reported in South Korea, half of which were cases of followers of the Shincheonji Church. As soon as the infection began to spread, the government imposed strict restrictions on certain things. Controlling these day-to-day processes could prevent the spread of the infection. It was an important step by the South Korean government.

Shincheonji, Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (SCJ), commonly known as Shincheonji, is a religious organization and new religious movement established on 14 March 1984 in South Korea by Lee Man-hee. Shincheonji is a controversial organisation frequently accused of being a cult.

The country also ran a large-scale infection screening program. Coronavirus tests were free. Not only that, but people also came in their cars, and they were tested all over the country. The number of cases initially reported in South Korea also began to grow rapidly, due to widespread testing. However, the advantage was that those who were infected were identified early and could be isolated.

At the same time, the search for people in contact began. People who came in contact with the confirmed case were found and tested separately. Alerts were also sent to people living and working nearby, when someone’s test is positive. People were getting heaps of messages like this. At one point, the number of Shincheonji cluster cases halved from South Korea’s total.

All churches in South Korea were closed and people were prevented from gathering in public. Churches are now open, but those who come to pray are required to stand away from each other and wear masks. Exams were held, but students were seated far away and wearing masks.

For many citizens, life is slowing down. People are roaming the streets again. However, the temperature of a person in a building is checked first. However, the biggest test of the government was how to hold elections. Elections were also held on April 15, and thousands of people turned out in front of the polling booths and participated in the elections for Parliament.

Voters were given plastic socks, lined up at a distance and the temperature was measured before entering the polling station.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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