With summer just around the corner, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced “2020 Comprehensive Summer Measures.” Due to the unprecedented circumstances caused by COVID-19, the municipal government established measures for this summer that are centered around the response to the contagious disease, concentrating on daily disinfections, prevention of the spread of COVID-19, and protection of the disaster-vulnerable classes.
First, reinforced disinfection measures will be executed focused on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. More epidemiological investigators employed by the SMG (43 individuals) and autonomous districts (64 individuals) will be taking charge of early response with the prompt and accurate epidemiological investigations and transparent disclosure of information when there are new confirmed cases.
The “Prompt Response Team” is also ready to be dispatched in emergency situations. Together with the city and autonomous districts, the team has contributed to preventing the widespread of the disease by executing prompt testing and epidemiological investigations for the facilities in which collective infections occurred.
Disinfection for dosshouse (jjokbangchon)
As for the facilities that are used by the infectious disease-vulnerable groups, such as dosshouses (jjokbangchon), facilities for the homeless, nursing facilities for the elderly, and residential centers for the disabled, the SMG will continue a special control that completely blocks the infection from coming into the facilities in order to implement thorough daily disinfections. Additionally, the city will be executing specialized disinfections (more than once a week) in dosshouses for the first time this year.
As this summer is expected to be hotter than the annual average of previous years with heatwaves, the response system will be operated according to the levels of the heatwave warnings with reinforced measures for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, residents of dosshouses, and the disabled.
The number of the “Cooling Center” will be increased by 670 compared to the last year, but the number of people admitted in each shelter will be decreased by less than 50% to minimize close contact between users. The “Visiting Home Service” for vulnerable citizens with impaired mobility who find it hard to use the Cooling Center will also be expanded to provide visiting nursing services or material support, such as icepacks.
Additionally, the budget for the Seoul-type Emergency Welfare will be increased by 100% (from KRW 250 million to KRW 500 million) for households that face temporary crises due to heatwaves. The city aims to leave no stone unturned, offering inclusive welfare services after summer disasters by expanding support for households that are temporarily suffering due to illnesses or loss of jobs caused by heatwaves.