Seoul Metropolitan Government provides emergency support for businesses struggling due to MERS outbreak


The Seoul Metropolitan Government, in cooperation with the Seoul Credit Guarantee Foundation, has decided to put significant effort to providing payment guarantees for small-sized businesses incurring damages from the slowdown in business caused by the MERS outbreak.

To breathe life back into the local economy, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has begun providing emergency management stabilization funds, amounting to a total of KRW 200 billion, through the provision of special payment guarantees for cash liquidity, focusing on small-sized businesses, clinics, and travel agencies. As a result, a total of 4,389 relevant applications, amounting to KRW 127.8 billion, have been submitted since June 10, when the program was first launched.

The Seoul Credit Guarantee Foundation eased the eligibility criteria in order to help businesses receive much-needed financial support sooner, and has opened emergency counters at its branches to serve the businesses receiving payment guarantees. It has also adopted a more flexible human resource management system at its headquarters and branches.

As a result, a total of KRW 11.2 billion in payment guarantees has been provided to 366 businesses since June 22.

In addition to the stabilization funds, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Credit Guarantee Foundation are also providing relevant consulting and funding (up to KRW 1 million per business, KRW 450 million in total) to a variety of businesses, including restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets, and laundromats, in an effort to help them endure the difficulties caused by the MERS epidemic.

We Are the MERS Citizen Volunteer Group.

“We Are the MERS Citizen Volunteer Group.”

All citizens and patients alike are suffering due to the MERS outbreak,
but those suffering the most may be the medical community and public officials.
Recognizing this, we offer all of them our deepest thanks.

Why did a sincere, hand-written letter from an elementary student touch the hearts of so many?
It is because it touched a nerve among those fighting MERS behind the scenes
nd the citizens cheering for them amid the hot summer weather.

From sterilizing the facilities frequented by countless citizens to organizing citizen campaigns in support of MERS patients and medical personnel
and a series of hand sanitizer sharing events,
the Seoul City Volunteer Center and the volunteer centers in 25 autonomous districts stand united in the fight against the MERS virus.

The fear and uncertainty about MERS can be overcome
through the sincere personal effort of each and every citizen.





Seoul City tests subway stations and cars for MERS


Between June 19 and 21, the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Research Institute of Public Health and Environment and the Seoul City Transportation Headquarters carried out a joint MERS-related investigation of subway stations, platforms, washrooms, and hanging straps on subway trains in an effort to dispel the vague feeling of unease that has spread throughout the population.

The investigation was conducted in the three subway stations that were used by the 137th MERS patient, and six other transfer stations, including Gangnam Station, where commuter volume is higher than that of other stations, with a particular focus on 115 places, including platforms, waiting spaces, plumbing fixtures, train doors, ventilation openings, and filters.

Following the survey, Seoul City officials announced that no MERS virus was detected on any surface in the subway stations or subway cars.

▶ Six subway stations surveyed :
Seoul Nat’l Univ., Seoul Nat’l Univ. of Education, Irwon, Jamsil, Konkuk Univ., Gangnam, Sindorim, Seoul City Hall, and Seoul Station

Jayang Public Healing Center Project

○ Outcome of Design Evaluation

✓Project Outline
Project Name Jayang Public Healing Center Project
Ordering Institution Public Structure Architecture Planning Division, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul (+82-2-450-7034,
Land Location 17, Achasan-ro 24-gil, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
Land Area 988.1 ㎡ Architecture Size B1/5F, Floor area (1,600㎡)
Design Cost 164,329 (Unit: ₩1,000)
✓Outline to Design Entry
Entry Method Restricted Open Entry.
Entry State Entry application: 22 case, Accepted entry: 7 case
✓Ways of Evaluation
Date 13:00~17:00 (Mon), 2015. 6.15.
Name (Occupation) Park Gi Ho (Gwangjin-gu Public Servant)
O Dong Hoi (Gansam Architect Office)
Kim Sun A (Studio Architect Office)
Yang Gap (Jipyung Architect Office)
Jo Ik Su (Plusumi Architect Office)
Name (Occupation) Kim Chang Hyun (local resident)
✓Evaluation Outcome
Distinction Architectural Office Architect (Designer) Prize
Selected Work I Dam Architect Office I Han Il Right of Contract
Aerial View, etc     당선작 1
Judge for Prized Work 1. Flexibility as a healing center, formative stability, color, comfort appropriateness enemy2. Each silbyeol excellent facilities, such as the elderly spacing

3. Roof Garden outer space, including the availability complaints but requires preventive measures

Distinction Architectural Office Architect (Designer) Prize
Excellence Prize Probe Architect Office O Hyuck Gyn 6,570 (Unit: ₩1,000)
Aerial View, etc     우수작 1
Distinction Architectural Office Architect (Designer) Prize
Runner-up Kan Architect Office Im Gyn Jae 4,920 (Unit: ₩1,000)
Aerial View, etc     가작 1

Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon Pays Visits to MERS-Related Hospitals.


On June 16, Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon paid a visit to Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, one of the 33 MERS-free hospitals in Seoul (161 nationwide), where he inspected the status of MERS-related operations and shared some words of encouragement with the medical staff there.

He checked the separate facility (168 square meters) in front of the main building of the hospital that was installed to accommodate patients suffering from fever and respiratory symptoms as well as the negative pressure room on the fifth floor, where test samples are thoroughly screened for the virus and kept isolated and tightly contained. While speaking to the medical staff, he made a point to ask whether they were experiencing any difficulty.

Prior to his visit to this hospital, the Mayor paid visits to several other hospitals: the Seoul Medical Center, designated for patients showing serious MERS-related symptoms (June 9); Boramae Medical Center, similarly designated (June 13); Seobuk Hospital, designated for those exhibiting minor symptoms (June 14); Mediheal Hospital , in Yangcheon-gu, currently closed due to exposure to confirmed MERS patients (June 14); and Korea University Guro Hospital, designated as a MERS-free hospital (June 15).

“MERS-free hospital” refers to hospitals, designated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), to which ordinary people can go without having to worry about contracting the virus, as patients presenting with respiratory symptoms (including suspected MERS patients) are kept separate from regular patients. In consultation with private hospitals, Seoul City will continue to designate more MERS-free hospitals.

Seoul City is currently operating three types of hospitals in connection with the current MERS outbreak: ▴ two hospitals designated for the treatment of those exhibiting serious symptoms (Seoul Medical Center and Boramae Medical Center), ▴ one hospital designated for the treatment, in a separate space, of those showing minor symptoms (Seobuk Hospital), and ▴ 59 hospitals designated for the treatment of those suspected of having contracted MERS (i.e. 25 public health centers, three Seoul City-operated hospitals, and 31 hospitals for emergency care, including those operated by Seoul National University).

▶ List of hospitals designated for the treatment of suspected MERS patients and MERS-free hospitals

Seoul Metropolitan Government Announced the “Seoul City Emergency Economic Stimulus Package”


The Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced the “Seoul City Emergency Economic Stimulus Package,” which has been developed as a means of stabilizing the livelihoods of the public and minimizing the impact of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on the weakened consumer sentiment.

As a first step, the city government will invest emergency funds of KRW 10 billion by the end of July in order to provide public jobs for approximately 2,000 unemployed youths and low-income households, who are struggling to keep themselves afloat. Particularly, the measure plans to engage those working in the culture and tourism sector as well as small merchants, who have been the hardest hit by the MERS outbreak.

Second, as emergency welfare funds, Seoul City will provide one month of living expenses, ranging from KRW 409,000 (for one-person households) to KRW 1,514,700 (for six-person households), to those who have been quarantined or hospitalized due to MERS. Benefitting from the stimulus package will be about 2,842 quarantined and hospitalized patients (as of June 13), 525 people who have recently been released from quarantine, and others who are expected to suffer related damages in the future.

Household Size Amount of Support (KRW)
1 person 409,000
2 persons 696,500
3 persons 901,100
4 persons 1,105,600
5 persons 1,310,200
6 persons 1,514,700

Third, emergency funds of about KRW 200 billion will be distributed among merchants, who have been hit hard by MERS, either directly or indirectly. Also, small-sized firms and small merchants, who have been operating their businesses for more than six months, are eligible to receive special deposits and loans—a maximum of KRW 50 million per company.

In addition, restaurants, bakeries, and supermarkets—frontline sectors in close connection with the livelihood of the people—will be offered a maximum of KRW 1 million per store and a total of KRW 450 million in consulting and maintenance funds. In the future, the city government will provide additional support for merchants in connection with the government support measures.

Fourth, in order to prevent MERS from spreading through traditional markets and shopping districts, and to secure the safety of visiting citizens, 25 autonomous districts and 344 traditional markets will be equipped, very soon, with a total of 750 hand sterilizers, 5,595 hand sanitizers (875ml), and 27,714 gel-type hand disinfectants (476ml).

Fifth, Seoul City will regularly announce the current status of the MERS outbreak in the Seoul area and keep citizens updated on the city government’s measures. In addition, while collecting suggestions and concerns from each and every company and area in need of government assistance, Seoul City will request that companies with workers suspected of having come into contact with the MERS virus preserve the positions and salaries of such workers.

Lastly, by spending 58 percent of the budget subject to early execution (a combined amount of KRW 22.2895 trillion in the city and districts) in the first half of this year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will take the lead in supporting the weakened economy and promoting consumption.

Medical institutions in Seoul equipped with MERS treatment facilities


Anyone who suspects they may have contracted MERS, or is experiencing a fever and respiratory symptoms such as coughing and phlegm, can receive treatment at a public health center or a medical institution equipped with a MERS treatment facility. At present, such facilities have been established at 25 public health centers, eight Seoul City-operated hospitals, and two public hospitals.

Suspected MERS patients who visit a public health center will be checked for MERS through a body fluid test carried out at the Seoul City-operated Research Institute of Public Health and Environment. Also, the Seoul Medical Center is carrying out tests and providing treatment, using a negative pressure room for the collection of bodily fluids.

The Seoul Medical Center and Seobuk Hospital have been designated as MERS-quarantined hospitals, and are treating MERS patients showing mild symptoms, while Boramae Medical Center has been tasked with providing intensive care for MERS patients displaying severe symptoms.

Seoul City will increase the number of MERS treatment centers in consultation with private hospitals, including tertiary hospitals.

▶ List of 25 Public Health Centers

Location Phone numbers
1 Jongno-gu 2148-3552~4
2 Jung-gu 3396-6363
3 Yongsan-gu 2199-6181~2, 2199-8102, 2199-8103
4 Seongdong-gu 2286-7040, 2286-7034
5 Gwangjin-gu 450-1937, 450-1936
6 Dongdaemun-gu 2127-5422, 2127-5409
7 Jungnang-gu 2094-0742, 2094-0743
8 Seongbuk-gu 2241-6023, 2241-6022
9 2241-6023, 2241-6022 901-7703, 901-7704, 901-7706
10 Dobong-gu 2091-4481, 2091-4482
11 Nowon-gu 2116-4344
12 Eunpyeong-gu 351-8900, 351-8278, 351-8277
13 Seodaemun-gu 330-8726, 330-1886
14 330-8726, 330-1886 3153-6380~2, 3153-9032, 3153-9033
15 Yangcheon-gu 2620-3856, 2620-3855
16 Gangseo-gu 2600-5992, 2600-5955
17 Guro-gu 860-3288, 860-2419
18 Geumcheon-gu 2627-2426, 2627-2717, 2627-2718, 2627-2686
19 Yeongdeungpo-gu 2670-4904, 2670-4905, 2670-4907
20 Dongjak-gu 820-9680, 820-9463, 820-9465
21 Gwanak-gu 879-7131~2, 879-7131, 879-7132
22 Seocho-gu 2155-8090~6, 2155-8091, 2155-8093
23 Gangnam-gu 3426-7980~4, 3423-7135, 3423-7134
24 Songpa-gu 2147-3477, 2147-3478, 2147-3481, 2147-3480
25 Gangdong-gu 3425-8501~2, 3425-6713, 3425-6712

▶ Eight Seoul City-operated hospital

Location Names Phone numbers
1 Jongno-gu Seoul Metropolitan Children’s Hospital 2148-3552~4
2 Eunpyeong-gu Seobuk Hospital 3156-3200, 3114
3 Eunpyeong-gu Eunpyeong Hospital 300-8126 (day), 300-8114 (night)
4 Jungnang-gu Seoul Medical Center 2276-7113
5 Dongdaemun-gu Dongbu Hospital 920-9118~9
6 Jungnang-gu Bukbu Hospital 2036-0348
7 Dongjak-gu Boramae Medical Center 870-2114
8 Yangcheon-gu Seonam Hospital 6300-9119

▶ Two national and public hospitals

Location Names Phone numbers
1 Jung-gu National Medical Center 2276-2112 (MERS Countermeasure Headquarters)
2 Jongno-gu Seoul National University Hospital 2072-2114

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) has released a list of MERS-free hospitals. “MERS-free” refers to hospitals being run for ordinary people concerned about the possibility of having contracted MERS. So far, 22 tertiary hospitals, 61 general hospitals, and four hospitals have been designated as MERS-free hospitals, 20 of which are located in Seoul.

At MERS-free hospitals, patients experiencing respiratory symptoms receive treatment at a separate treatment facility, instead of in the emergency room. If hospitalization is necessary, they are given single-bed rooms. Patients with pneumonia are sent to an intensive-care facility after it has been determined that they are not infected with MERS.

▶ 33 MERS-free hospitals in Seoul

Location Names Phone numbers
1 Yangcheon-gu EWHA Womans University Medical Center 2650-5114
2 Dongjak-gu Chung-Ang University Hospital 6299-1114
3 Guro-gu Korea University Guro Hospital 2626-1114
4 Dongdaemun-gu Kyung Hee University Medical Center 958-8114
5 Seodaemun-gu Severance Hospital 1599-1004
6 Seongbuk-gu Korea University Anam Hospital 1577-0093
7 Gangnam-gu Gangnam Severance Hospital 2019-2114
8 Seongdong-gu Hanyang University Seoul Hospital 2290-8114
9 Seocho-gu Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital 1588-1511
10 Nowon-gu Eulji Hospital 970-8000
11 Dongdaemun-gu SahmYook Medical Center 1577-3675
12 Yeongdeungpo-gu Yeongdeungpo Hospital 2632-0013
13 Yeongdeungpo-gu Myongji St. Mary’s Hospital 829-7777
14 Yongsan-gu Soonchunhyang University Hospital 709-9114
15 Nowon-gu Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital 950-1114
16 Gangdong-gu VHS Medical Center 2225-1111
17 Jung-gu Inje University Seoul Paik Hospital 2270-0114
18 Gangdong-gu Gangdong Sungsim General Hospital 2224-2114
19 Gangseo-gu Bumin Hospital 1577-7582
20 Yeongdeungpo-gu Burn&Scar Institute Hangangsoo 2063-8383
21 Jongno-gu Seoul National University Hospital 2072-2114
22 Songpa-gu Asan Medical Center 1688-7575
23 Jongno-gu Kangbuk Samsung Hospital 2001-2001
24 Yeongdeungpo-gu Yeouido St. Mary’s Hospital 3779-1114
25 Gangnam-gu Bestian Medical Center 3452-7575
26 Dongdaemun-gu Seoul Sungsim General Hospital 966-1616
27 Jongno-gu Seoul Red Cross Hospital 2002-8000
28 Dongdaemun-gu St. Paul’s Hospital 958-2114
29 Yeongdeungpo-gu Gangnam Sungsim General Hospital 829-5114
30 Dongjak-gu Boramae Medical Center 870-2114
31 Dobong-gu Gangbuk Himchan Hospital 1899-2226
32 Gangnam-gu The Joeun Hospital 591-3777
33 Yangcheon-gu Mokdong Himchan Hospital 1899-2221

Seoul and 20 Hospitals Fully Focused on Fighting the Spread of MERS


The Seoul Metropolitan Government held the “Private and Public Joint Response Meeting” on June 12 with experts in related areas in order to come up with an effective, specialized countermeasure to stop the spread of MERS.

After working with the Seoul Medical Association, which is fighting at the frontlines of the MERS prevention effort, to establish a cooperative system to prevent the spread of MERS, the Seoul Metropolitan Government held this meeting on June 8, in close cooperation with specialized private and public institutions, to provide assistance and seek advice on how to prevent MERS from spreading to other regions and communities of Korea.

The mayor of Seoul and the presidents of 20 hospitals, including three government-designated hospitals, six regional base hospitals, one regional public hospital, three Seoul municipal hospitals, and seven private hospitals, attended the Private and Public Joint Response Meeting.

At the meeting, the attendees discussed measures to address the issue of medical institutions refusing to treat people who have come into contact with MERS patients and focused on matters related to epidemiologic investigations and medical consultations.

Also discussed were compensation and relief plans for medical professionals and institutions that have suffered losses or damages for various reasons, such as the closing of hospitals where MERS patients were treated.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government outlined all of the measures that have been taken by hospitals to prevent the spread of MERS and established a practical cooperative measure through which operational resources at each medical institution can be identified quickly and efficiently, including the number of medical personnel and professionals, isolation rooms, negative pressure isolation rooms, subsidiary facilities, and ambulances.

The government of Seoul will make all possible efforts to resolve the MERS crisis and prevent the spread of MERS to regional communities, including sharing information through an administrative hotline and cooperating actively with private and public medical professionals at the working level.

How Many Movies Do Seoul Citizens Watch?



(Source: Mayor of London, The World Cities Culture Report 2014 / Korean Film Council, Korean Film Industry Report)

▶ In 2014, Seoul citizens went to the movies 5.9 times on average, which is the highest among major cities in the world.

London had the second highest number of cinema admissions per capita at 5.3, followed by Paris at 4.9, and Toronto and Sydney at 4.8. Among Korean cities, Seoul reported the highest number of cinema admissions per capita. The average number of cinema admissions per capita in Korea was recorded at 4.2.


▶ Although more foreign films were screened in Seoul than Korean films, the number of viewers per Korean film was higher with 65,000 viewers.

In 2014, a total of 1,138 foreign films (73.8%) and 405 Korean films (26.2%) were screened in Seoul, showing 2.9 times more foreign films than Korean. However, the total amount of sales per film was KRW 520 million, and the average number of viewers was 65,000, which are both higher than those of foreign films.


▶ The proportions of the number of viewers and total sales in theaters in Seoul were the highest in Korea at 28.9% and 27.7%, respectively.

A total of 59.51 million people (28.9%) viewed films in Seoul in 2014, and the total amount of sales was KRW 480.8 billion (27.7%). The total amount of sales for movie theaters in Seoul has shown a steady rise over the past five years, while the number of viewers rose dramatically in 2012 (18.1%) and dwindled slightly in 2014 (-0.1%).

CDC and WHO report about MERS in overseas

    “ Since May 2015, the Republic of Korea has been investigating an outbreak of MERS. It is the largest known outbreak of MERS outside the Middle East.

    CDC does not recommend that Americans change their travel plans to the Republic of Korea or other countries because of MERS. ”

    ▶ 2015.06.08

    ▶ More details :

Seoul Moves Ahead with Comprehensive Development Plan for Seoul Station Area

In May 2015, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the “Comprehensive Development Plan for the Seoul Station Area,” through which it plans to develop the Seoul Station area into a central axis of the city, connecting the industrial axis that runs from north to south and the MICE axis that runs from east to west. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will utilize the potential of the Seoul Station area, which is located at the center of Seoul and serves as the gateway to the city, with over 400,000 people coming and going every day, to turn this area into a historical, cultural, and tourist attraction and revitalize the declining local economy.

  • 서울역_종합발전계획_E

The Seoul Metropolitan Government launched this action plan after holding over 100 meetings and consultations with citizens (73 on-site consultations, seven citizen and expert opinion polls, 13 consultations with related organizations, etc.), and even reflected opposing opinions.

In preparation for the Seoul Station 7017 Project, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will begin developing the area north of the station, at the requested of the residents of the area. Following the integrated construction plan, and to secure the efficient use of the land north of the station, a replacement bridge will be installed in connection with the development plan for the area. Measures to improve traffic conditions, such as the construction of a bypass in a nearby area (Manrijae-ro – Yeomcheongyo (Bridge) – Toegye-ro) and reinforcement of the main road running east to west (Chilpae-ro – Sungnyemun (Gate)), will also be implemented.

In addition to the development of the area north of Seoul Station, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is also drawing up a plan to create a MICE axis that connects the COEX and Jamsil area, Seoul Station, Sangam and Susaek area, and KINTEX in Goyang. Through the government’s effort to revive Namdaemun Market, which has been in decline for 10 years, Namdaemun Market was selected as a “Global Luxury Market” by the central government (in April) and will receive KRW 5 billion to reinvigorate the market. Moreover, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to come up with a customized renewal development plan for the Jungnim-dong, Hoehyeon-dong, and Cheongpa-dong areas, and will work together with local residents while moving ahead with the plan.


Seoul to Step Up Disinfection of Subway Facilities to Prevent the Spread of MERS

In order to prevent the spread of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), the Seoul Metropolitan Government will dramatically expand the measures currently in place to disinfect facilities inside subway stations and subway cars.

First, the government will ensure that facilities inside subway stations, train cars, and restrooms with which passengers make direct contact are cleaned and disinfected more frequently. Specifically, subway train cars will be disinfected twice a week instead of once, and facilities such as chairs, handles, and escalator handrails, with which passengers make direct contact, will be disinfected on a daily basis.

The interiors and restrooms of subway stations will be cleaned several times every day and disinfected twice a week rather than once. The sterilization of subway ticket machines, which has been done only once a month, will now be carried out every day as well.

As personal hygiene and sanitation are critical to preventing the spread of disease, hand-sanitizing stations will be installed in the over 300 stations that handle the largest volumes of passenger traffic. Also, the government will regularly inspect subway station restrooms to ensure that they are equipped with soap at all times.

Furthermore, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will promote measures that citizens can take to avoid contracting MERS. Video clips showing such measures as well as the symptoms of MERS and other related information will be featured on displays inside subway cars and stations 30 to 40 times a day. Information on the hygiene etiquette of coughing in public will also be broadcast.