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S. Korea to open new test bed for antivirus home products, promote exports

Welfare/Medicine 11:00 March 09, 2021

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday it plans to establish new test facilities designed to verify the safety of antivirus home products to cope with their soaring demand amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

The country plans to allocate a 4.8 billion won (US$4.23 million) budget to establish infrastructure to test products, such as hand sanitizers and protective masks, under cooperation with the Korea Testing & Research Institute, according to the state-run Korean Agency for Technology and Standards.

The project came as the country lacked infrastructure to test the safety of antivirus products despite the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

A teacher applies hand sanitizer on a student's hands at an elementary school in Daejeon, 164 kilometers south of Seoul, in this file photo taken on June 8, 2020. (Yonhap)

"The center will not only protect consumers from unauthorized antivirus products but will also help beef up the competitiveness of South Korean-made products in the overseas market," the agency said.

The agency said it plans to issue certificates that can be recognized globally for the qualified products to promote exports.

South Korea's exports of hand sanitizers reached US$250 million over the January-August period of 2020, soaring a whopping 6,100 percent on-year, according to separate data compiled by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

Outbound shipments of protective masks also jumped 385 percent over the period to reach $520 million.

colin@yna.co.kr
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