Intensive management by organizing the Rapid Outbreak Response Task Force
In the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak with 22 confirmed cases of call center employees and family members of a Guro-based insurance company on March 9th, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has taken immediate action by shutting down the entire building and enforcing speedy public health surveillance and management of individuals who came into close contact with those confirmed to prevent further local spreading of the virus.
All of the 207 call center employees were placed in self-quarantine and PCR tests were conducted on the individuals. According to the results of 124 individuals among the 207 people, 19 tested positive (with 85 individuals standing by for the results) while 83 are still being tested.
On the 9th, emergency measures were taken by shutting down the entire building. The building was disinfected and the Rapid Outbreak Response T/F for speedy public health surveillance and management of individuals who came into close contact with those confirmed was organized while an on-site situation room was installed at the Guro-gu Public Health Center for operation. The T/F enforced the 3-step response strategy for reinforced prevention of epidemics: prevent spreading, stop spreading of infections, and prevent relapses.
A designated screening clinic will be operated in front of the building starting on the 10th to check entering and exiting residents for signs of fever. Individuals showing signs of symptoms will receive immediate treatment at the screening clinic. CCTVs will be investigated for the movements of confirmed patients to conduct public health surveillance. Additional investigation of individuals who came into close contact with confirmed patients is currently being conducted through monitoring of the entrance and exit as well as elevator CCTVs.
<Concentrated disinfections at Sindorim station of Line 1 due to the mass outbreak in Sindorim-dong>
On the 10th and 11th, Seoul Metro enforced concentrated disinfections on Line 1 trains and Sindorim station following confirmation of the use of the trains and station during commute by those involved in the mass COVID-19 outbreak in Guro-gu.
Immediately after the announcement of the 46 confirmed patients’ travels on the 10th, the handles and insides of Line 1 trains were urgently disinfected. Sindorim station near the call center completed disinfection of all its station facilities for Lines 1 and 2, including the entrance and exit gates, waiting rooms, platforms, stairs, transfer passageways and restrooms.
On the 11th, additional disinfections were conducted on Line 1 trains and Sindorim station as means of taking active measures to prevent spreading and relieve passengers’ anxieties. Besides Sindorim station, ten other transfer stations presumed to be within the line of flow of confirmed patients including Hapjeong, Jongno 3(sam)-ga, Dongdaemun, Seoul Nat’l Univ. of Education and Seolleung stations were disinfected in their entirety.
<Seoul successfully secures hospital beds and living treatment centers in response to COVID-19>
The Seoul Metropolitan Government is to secure 984 negative pressure rooms by the end of March to improve citizens’ health and prevent local spreading of infections through support in offering quick and appropriate medical services to COVID-19 confirmed patients
Furthermore, the city concluded deliberations with three hospitals to secure 600 regular hospital rooms during March for treatment of patients with minor symptoms in preparation for the rapidly increasing number of patients. The city plans to treat and manage COVID-19 patients by securing living treatment centers in stages for asymptomatic patients and patients from negative pressure rooms requiring isolation for a fixed period following their discharge from the hospital.