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(Yonhap Forum) S. Korea's virus fight still has long way to go: vice minister

All News 15:35 June 30, 2020

SEOUL, June 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea still has a long way to go in its fight against the new coronavirus as the country may have to brace for another round of COVID-19 outbreaks, the country's vice health minister said Tuesday.

Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip also called for people's active cooperation in health authorities' efforts to contain the spread of the virus that has sickened 12,800 people here since its first confirmed case in late January this year.

"The biggest challenge facing us is fears that the COVID-19 pandemic will not end soon," Kim said at a peace forum, hosted by Yonhap News Agency.

Kim voiced concerns that the country may have to brace for a protracted pandemic as the virus is still spreading fast.

South Korea has successfully flattened the virus curve with swift and mass testing, but the country's new virus cases have spiked amid a rise in cluster infections since the country relaxed social distancing on May 6.

The total global virus caseload surpassed 10 million on Sunday, after the first outbreak was reported in China late last year. There have been hopes that the virus outbreak might ebb during the summer, but the country is still grappling with a rise in locally transmitted cases and infections coming in from overseas.

Kim stressed that health authorities will mobilize all available resources to develop treatments and vaccines, while urging citizens to fully comply with infection preventive steps in daily life.

"It is impossible to overcome the COVID-19 crisis solely with efforts by the government, local governments and medical workers," the vice minister said. "If people do not thoroughly keep quarantine measures, we cannot effectively fight the virus even if massive investments are made."

This photo, taken on June 30, 2020, shows Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip delivering a special lecture over the country's response to the new coronavirus at a peace forum, hosted by Yonhap News Agency, at Lotte Hotel in central Seoul. (Yonhap)


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