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Korean companies join virus fight with relief goods

All News 07:33 February 28, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean companies, although they are also feeling the pinch of the fast-spreading coronavirus, are rushing to join the nationwide virus fight with relief efforts, industry sources said Friday.

South Korea has so far reported more than 1,700 COVID-19 cases, with most of them identified in the southeastern city of Daegu and surrounding North Gyeongsang Province.

Samsung Group, the country's largest conglomerate, on Wednesday decided to donate 30 billion won (US$24.7 million) to the Korea Disaster Relief Association. The group said its 14 affiliates, including Samsung Electronics Co., have participated in the relief support, which includes donations of medical goods and daily necessities.

In this photo provided by SPC Group on Feb. 27, 2020, SPC Group employees donate food and water to officials in Daegu for virus relief efforts. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Hyundai Motor Group, the No. 2 conglomerate, said it donated 5 billion won in cash to the relief agency. The automotive group said it will also support quarantine supplies, including protective masks and hand sanitizers, and its relief efforts will be focused on Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.

SK Group and LG Group each donated 5 billion won to the Community Chest of Korea, a local charity organization, and vowed to provide medical and quarantine supplies to people in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.

In addition to cash donations, retail-centered Lotte Group said it will provide meals and hygienic supplies to children and elderly people at welfare facilities.

On Thursday, other major conglomerates, including steelmaker POSCO and shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries, joined the virus relief efforts by donating cash and quarantine supplies.

SPC Group, which runs bakery and restaurant franchises, said it will donate bread and bottles of water to Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province for one month.

Health authorities in Gwangju pack hand sanitizers for people under self-quarantine in this photo provided by Gwangju Northern District Office on Feb. 24, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

KT Corp., South Korea's major telecommunication firm, said it will lower rent for small businesses using their business buildings for the next three months. More than 3,500 tenants are to benefit from this rent cut, KT said, adding those in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province will get a 50 percent discount.

Some companies have offered blood donations to help blood collection centers as the novel coronavirus outbreak has kept people from going outdoors and caused a sharp drop in blood supplies.

The state-run Korea Expressway Corp. said some 700 employees have so far made blood donations. Chemical giant Kolon Group and low-cost carrier Eastar Jet said their workers also supplied their blood for clinical use.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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