South Korea to compensate medical facilities for virus outbreak-related losses


SEOUL – South Korea will provide compensation of a combined 700 billion won (US$572 million) to medical facilities suffering from losses incurred in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak here, Yonhap News Agency quoted government officials Monday.

Many hospitals and pharmacies across the country have suffered business setbacks in the country’s fight to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, such as treating patients and closing down their emergency rooms.

The measure was announced during a government meeting headed by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun earlier in the day. 

Noticeably, a maximum of 200 million won will be first provided to hospitals located in the southeastern city of Daegu and surrounding North Gyeongsang Province, the local epicenters of the virus outbreak that have suffered the most losses.

Many of the hospitals in the regions closed down their businesses after being designated as COVID-19-only hospitals or temporarily halted operations after treating confirmed patients.

Also, the government will provide low-rated loans to hospitals that have suffered losses in sales by more than 10 percent.

The country saw a continued downward trend in daily new infections of the novel coronavirus on Monday with 74 new cases, bringing the nation’s total infections to 8,236, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.