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KCDC denies allegations of manipulating virus tally for election

Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Kim Arin/The Korea Herald)
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Kim Arin/The Korea Herald)

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday denied allegations that the agency was testing fewer people ahead of the parliamentary election slated for Wednesday in order to influence the results in the ruling Democratic Party’s favor.

“There have been reports the disease control agency was interfering with health care institutions to conduct fewer tests. This is absolutely false,” KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong said in a press briefing.

“On the contrary, the KCDC has been expanding the scope of testing through regular updates on symptomatic individuals and patients under investigation,” she said. “The Centers did not intentionally reduce the number of tests or meddle in physicians’ diagnoses of the disease.”

The Korean Medical Association said March 31 that it had received complaints from doctors in the field that testing was discouraged, and that it was investigating the claims.

According to the KCDC, about 15,000 tests are run every day, with over 510,000 people having been tested so far.

The novel coronavirus’s markedly slower spread is boosting the Democratic Party’s chances in the election, polls have shown, lifting President Moon Jae-in’s approval ratings to their highest point in recent weeks.

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)
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