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Nearly 500 medical professionals volunteer for Daegu

Staff at a COVID-19 testing facility in Daegu. Yonhap
Staff at a COVID-19 testing facility in Daegu. Yonhap

Nearly 500 medical professionals and administrative officials from the private sector have volunteered to serve in Daegu, the government announced Thursday.

“Having recruited medical professionals to volunteer to work in Daegu area from 24th this month, 490 have volunteered as of 9 a.m. today,” Kim Gang-lip, vice health minister said Thursday. Kim also serves on the government’s central response team.

By profession, the volunteers consist of 24 doctors, 167 nurses, 157 nurse’s aides and clinical laboratory technicians, and 90 individuals trained in hospital administration and other related fields.

Kim said that the government will draw up measures to reward the volunteers for their service to the community, in addition to financial compensation.

The government plans to give daily compensation of 120,000 won and 70,000 won to public sector doctors and nurses, respectively, who go to Daegu or nearby areas as part of the COVID-19 response.

Medical professionals from the private sector will be compensated on a similar level as that given in response to the MERS outbreak. At the time of the MERS outbreak in 2015, doctors were compensated at between 450,000 won and 550,000 won per day.

The Ministry of National Defense, meanwhile, announced that 750 public health doctors would be appointed earlier than scheduled to support quarantine, treatment and analysis efforts.

The Defense Ministry has also dispatched 325 medical officers to Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, and plans to use the military hospital in Daegu to accommodate confirmed COVID-19 patients in the area.

By Choi He-suk (