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Govt. orders scheduled remote working for public servants

Disinfection is underway at the government complex in Sejong on Thursday. (Yonhap)
Disinfection is underway at the government complex in Sejong on Thursday. (Yonhap)

In its latest efforts to fight the new coronavirus, South Korea on Thursday introduced a flexible working scheme, including flexible working hours and remote working, for public servants.

Under the guidelines, public servants across the country are expected to take turns working remotely, either at home or at so-called smart work centers run by the government, according to the document distributed to 50 government organizations by the Ministry of Personnel Management.

The heads of each organization will decide on the numbers of those working remotely, while manager-level public servants will continue to work at offices as usual.

The guidance, aimed at reducing office density and face-to-face contact, advises those working in offices to vary their commuting and lunch schedules.

It mandates that each team designates an employee to check whether there are team members with COVID-19 symptoms twice a day.

The guidelines also seek to minimize face-to-face meetings and expand online meetings.

The new rules, the strongest regarding government personnel, come amid concerns that more public servants could be affected by the contagious virus that has affected more than 7,800 people in the country.

As of Thursday, 14 public servants, including 11 at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, working at the country's main government complex in Sejong have tested positive.

South Korea has 11 government complexes, including the main complex in Sejong, 130 kilometers south of Seoul, as well as in major cities such as Seoul and Daejeon. (Yonhap)