Korea Pest Control Association (KPCA), Enhance Korea’s Status to K-quarantine
In the Evaluation of the National Competitiveness announced by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland on June 16, 2020, the Republic of Korea ranked 23rd out of 63 countries, jumping five places from the previous year. The nation seems to have been highly regarded for effectively responding to the spread of COVID-19 and promoting stable growth.
That is why the ‘K-quarantine system’, internationally to be considered one of the best practices for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, is the focus of global interest. So far, 17 organizations in 19 countries including the International Social Security Association (ISSA), German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) for Germany, and the EUROGIP for France, have requested information regarding the Korean COVID-19 mitigation strategy. Accordingly, Korea has shared their control plans and data, including Tackling COVID-19 –Korean Experience-, Flattening the curve on COVID-19 in Korea, guidelines on workplace quarantine, responding to 3T (Test, Trace, Treatment) based on innovative technologies, and revealing sales information of masks using publically available data.
Recently, the Korean Government held a general election in April and they passed on the quarantine expertise they developed during the election via video conferencing to the USA Government who will be holding a Presidential election later this year in November. Korea has given hope to other democratic countries during elections by undertaking actions such as providing masks and hand sanitizer, fever checks, providing disposable gloves, ensuring that social distance is maintained, and having meticulous disinfection processes, which all ensured for a safe election.
Korea’s remarkable countermeasures also extends to schools. The Washington Post highlighted the Korean preparations as schools reopened following the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. The Washington Post depicted photographs of a classroom and cafeteria with plastic screens, and of undertaking fever checks on all staff and pupils when entering the school gate.
They also highlighted the fact that the death toll in Korea is surprisingly low (around 2%, compared with 8% for the US and 15% for the UK) through measures such as promoting social distance and social tracing of positive cases. This was in spite of Korea having one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks after China during February.
Indeed, the KPCA is doing our best for the citizens who wish for the end of COVID-19 and a return to normal life. KPCA continues to participate in special quarantine services for conducting safe events. In May, the KPCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support vulnerable groups and planned to select 300 households in low-income who have difficulty in disinfection and provide a free service once a year. The agreement is expected to prevent infectious diseases in low-income families and increase citizens’ interest in infectious diseases.
The KPCA, which is leading the K-quarantine, urges the community to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure. The KPCA issued a new guideline (3-3 edition) at the end of May as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased in distribution centers and in door-to-door sales companies. Association officials emphasized effective disinfection and prevention of disease transmission in public facilities including libraries, art galleries, public transportation, schools, workplaces, and social welfare facilities.
However, despite the precautions wearing protective clothing and equipment, there are still concerns about the possibility of infection via travelers and immigrants from overseas. This is because there were officials who had undertaken field inspections while wearing masks, latex gloves, and other employees who had worn protective clothing, that gone to quarantine facilities and became infected with COVID-19.
Regarding this, Mr Won-Soo Hong, the President of the KPCA, emphasized measures should be taken to ensure safety, as it is difficult to wear thick protective equipment during the summer.
Korea and the KPCA are striving and endeavoring to end the epidemic today.