SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, May 18, 2020 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will provide two million dental masks to a total of 385,846 disabled people registered in Seoul – five masks per person – amid the COVID-19 outbreak from nightclubs and bars in Itaewon and Hongdae areas, the two popular nightlife districts in Seoul. The decision came with increasing concerns over the community spread of the virus. Masks for the handicapped are scheduled to be sent by parcel post starting from May 19.
As the weather warms up, there has been burgeoning demands for dental masks instead of KF94 masks that make it harder for users to breathe. “KF” in the mask names stands for “Korean filter.” Masks produced in Korea are required to be certified by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KFDS), and the number represents the filter performance. The higher the number, the higher the filtration action.
Accordingly, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has imported dental masks from overseas and requested the Seoul Metropolitan Government Research Institute of Public Health & Environment to test their performances. The Institute confirmed that the masks’ particle-blocking performance is more than that of KF70.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has been operating the task force for preventive products against epidemics since March in an effort to respond to the supply and demand of the anti-epidemic products. It has secured quarantine supplies, such as face masks, hand sanitizers, thermometers and protective clothing to provide them to testing clinics and medical institutions, daycare centers, and public facilities used by the mass public as well as to pregnant women, delivery workers, and vulnerable groups.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it will continue supporting protective products for those at risk of being infected and those vulnerable to the virus to prevent the further spread of the virus that came from Itaewon nightclubs and also to carry out “social distancing in daily life” campaign successfully.