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(LEAD) S. Korea, Germany vow cooperation in fighting coronavirus

All News 21:42 April 03, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES throughout with meeting results; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea shared its experience in fighting the coronavirus pandemic with Germany via a teleconference on Friday, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

During the two-hour session, South Korean officials explained the country's anti-virus program, characterized by fast tracking, testing, quarantine and treatment, on the back of its advanced medical and communications infrastructure.

The nation's containment efforts have recently gained international recognition due to a slowdown in new COVID-19 cases and a relatively low fatality rate.

The officials stressed that Seoul is willing to share its experience and successful response model with the international community.

German officials expressed interest in various technologies used by South Korea, and highly evaluated its effective handling of the virus while balancing protection of privacy and quarantine, according to the ministry.

"The two sides shared the understanding on the seriousness of the current situation and vowed to strengthen joint efforts against COVID-19 by sharing experiences and cooperating in responses," the ministry said in a release.

First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young led Seoul's delegation for the video-linked session, while the German side was headed by a senior foreign policy aide to the chancellor.

Germany had wanted to send a delegation to take a first-hand look at South Korea's containment efforts.

"The German government, led by the chancellor's office, has expressed hope for the dispatch of a delegation. It hoped that it could look at the Korean situation and experience here as quickly as possible," a ministry official earlier said.

"But we have decided to first hold the videoconference as (South Korea's) quarantine authorities are overwhelmed now," he added.

As of Friday, the total number of coronavirus infections in South Korea was tallied at 10,062, with 174 deaths. As of Thursday, Germany's COVID-19 caseload stood at 80,499, with 990 deaths, according to a media report.

A tourist from Europe undergoes a COVID-19 test at a temporary walk-through test center outside Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on March 31, 2020. (Yonhap)



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