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Over 160,000 South Koreans join volunteer activities to help fight coronavirus

All News 16:56 March 26, 2020

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- More than 160,000 South Koreans have participated in volunteer activities to help fight the new coronavirus and support neighbors in need for the past two months, government data showed Thursday.

The Ministry of the Interior and Safety said the accumulated number of volunteers in anti-virus efforts across the country between Jan. 20 and March 17 was 161,803.

The country has reported a total of 9,241 cases of COVID-19 since its first case was confirmed on Jan. 20.

The ministry said the largest number of volunteers, 90,833, engaged in disinfecting public places, while 31,191 participated in producing health and emergency goods.

Another 17,639 served in promotional campaigns, 8,677 in distributing medical and emergency supplies to those in quarantine and other vulnerable people and 2,653 in counseling.

Of late, volunteers have been especially helpful to pharmacies, which sell protective masks under a government rationing system.

As of March 19, 3,110 volunteers were working at 1,505 pharmacies assisting in packaging and selling masks, guiding customers and computer work.

Volunteer workers package protective masks at a pharmacy in the southeastern city of Gwangju on March 23, 2020, in this photo provided by the Buk-gu district office in the city. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

At the Gangwon-do Volunteer Center in the northeastern city of Chuncheon, 681 have participated in producing 150,000 cloth masks with replaceable filters and delivering them to poor neighbors and welfare centers.

Volunteers have also worked to spread campaigns such as those urging people to go to restaurants struggling after being visited by confirmed patients, use vouchers for small local merchants and care for and donate food and necessities to elderly people living alone, the ministry said.

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