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S. Korea to spend 624 bln won to develop drugs against contagious diseases

All News 14:29 April 22, 2020

SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Wednesday it will allocate 624 billion won (US$504 million) over the next 10 years to develop key vaccines against highly contagious diseases such as the new coronavirus in its latest step to beef up readiness against another pandemic.

Under the project, South Korea will seek to become self-sufficient in key pharmaceutical products against contagious diseases such as COVID-19 by 2029.

South Korea will also beef up related infrastructure such as state-run research centers, while helping them to promptly commercialize test kits.

S. Korea to spend 624 bln won to develop drugs against contagious diseases - 1

Despite the latest signs of a slowdown, South Korea is still one of the major countries hit hard by the new coronavirus, with the number of infections reaching 10,694 as of Wednesday.

South Korea said it will utilize the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence to better monitor COVID-19 patients while studying deeper into ways to use existing drugs to cure the novel virus.

The country also vowed to expand cooperation with international bodies such as the World Health Organization or the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to share progress in its research for vaccines against COVID-19.

To lay the foundation for South Korea's medical research, another 1.5 trillion won will be spent on projects aimed at fighting against contagious illnesses and other diseases such as dementia, it added.

colin@yna.co.kr
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