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(LEAD) Biz groups offer dormitories, other facilities for virus treatment centers

All News 11:24 March 05, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info paras 8, 12)
By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean business groups are offering their training institutes and dormitories to be used as treatment centers for novel coronavirus patients in a move to support local health authorities securing more hospital beds in the country's virus hotspots.

As the number of virus patients soared in Daegu and surrounding North Gyeongsang Province, where more than 80 percent of the country's total infections have been reported, health authorities there have been advising those with mild symptoms to visit designated virus treatment centers so that hospitals can accommodate more elderly patients and those with severe symptoms who need urgent and intensive care.

To join their efforts, Samsung Group has provided a human resources training institute in Yeongdeok County, North Gyeongsang Province, 350 kilometers southeast of Seoul, for use as a virus treatment center for those with mild symptoms.

A bus carrying novel coronavirus patients with mild symptoms arrives at Samsung Group's human resources training institute in Yeongdeok County, North Gyeongsang Province, on March 4, 2020, in this photo provided by Yeongdeok County. Samsung has said its training institute will be used as a virus treatment center. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The country's No. 1 conglomerate also sent medical staff at its hospitals to the center to help with treatment of COVID-19 patients. The staff, who volunteered to work at the center, will take turns working there for two weeks.

So far, more than 200 coronavirus patients have been admitted to Samsung's virus treatment center.

LG Group said LG Display Co.'s dormitory and its employee leisure facility in North Gyeongsang will be used as virus treatment centers.

LG Display's dormitory has 383 rooms and is located in Gumi, only about 50 kilometers north of Daegu, the epicenter of South Korea's virus outbreak. LG's leisure facility in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, some 330 kilometers southeast of Seoul, has 167 rooms.

Hanwha Group, a chemicals-to-finance conglomerate, also joined the move, offering Hanwha Life Insurance Co.'s training institute in Yongin, south of Seoul, as a virus treatment center. The facility, which has 200 rooms, is expected to accommodate virus patients from Seoul and neighboring Gyeonggi Province, it added.

DGB Daegu Bank, a local bank based in Daegu, also offered its training center that has 150 rooms to be used as a virus treatment center.

This photo provided by LG Group shows a dormitory of LG Display in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, that will be used as a virus treatment center. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Major companies in South Korea have been donating cash and medical supplies to support the country's anti-virus campaign.

Samsung last week donated 30 billion won (US$25 million) to the Korea Disaster Relief Association, while other major conglomerates like SK and LG provided 5 billion won each to the Community Chest of Korea, a local charity organization.

South Korea has so far reported more than 5,700 COVID-19 infections, with over 35 deaths.


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