UPDATE : Wednesday, August 23, 2017
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KCDC to take care of foreigners in infectious outbreaks
  • By Marian Chu
  • Approval 2017.08.11 14:49
  • comments 0

Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has finally come up with steps to disseminate information to foreigners in Korea during a medical crisis.

“It is vital we help foreigners remain fit to create a healthy, inclusive society,” KCDC Spokesman Park Ki-soo said.

Although the number of foreigners residing in Korea has continuously grown to around 2 million last year, the language barrier had posed complex communication problems during state emergencies.

Related : 'But what of minorities?'

To overcome the challenges, KCDC will set up a real-time communication channel between the organization and 111 foreign diplomatic offices in Korea, according to its new communication plan for foreigners in Korea.

Source: Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The state agency will provide disease information for foreign diplomats in real-time and answer individual questions from people working in public health and medical fields, the organization said. The foreign diplomatic offices will then post the information on their websites during emergencies.

KCDC also announced plans to extend its media channels to reach foreigners via its English website opened in May and through other broadcasting channels such as Arirang TV, MWTV, TBS eFM. It will also post information for foreign nationals and multiracial citizens on hikorea.go.kr and liveinkorea.kr, starting next month.

KCDC will also distribute quarantine information sheets in multiple foreign languages at the quarantine stage for those from countries that have faced infectious diseases, according to the report.

The state agency will add these services to its existing disease counseling service provided through its call center (Tel. 1339).

“We will work to improve public health and disease prevention as one of the few countries that have prepared communication channels to help foreigners separately in times of crisis,” Park said.

yjc@docdocdoc.co.kr

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