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S. Korean Government Seeking to Develop Infection Control Industry
1.56 Mil. Jobs to Be Created in Public Sector
S. Korean Government Seeking to Develop Infection Control Industry
  • By Yu Kun-ha
  • May 15, 2020, 15:04
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Developing an infection control industry was one of the topics discussed by ministers at the 3rd Meeting of the Central Economic Response Headquarters held on May 14.

Deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki, who presided over the ministerial meeting, told officials to make plans according to the three stages of infection control --prevention, diagnosis and treatment -- and develop a system to support the whole process.

For infection prevention, he told officials to develop a prognosis model using AI and big data, build an infectious disease database, and work on key equipment manufacturing.

For the diagnosis stage, he put emphasis on providing research bodies with human resources and equipment, and helping SMEs and ventures produce test-kits.

To facilitate development of treatments, he urged officials to promote research and development of treatments and vaccines, as well as clinical trials and manufacturing of the products.

To build a comprehensive support system, he called for building hospitals and research institutes specializing in infectious diseases, and efforts to help Korea’s pandemic control model of “Test-Trace-Treat” be adopted by the international community.

At the meeting, the ministers also discussed ways to create 1.56 million public sector jobs as the April job data showed more job losses from the previous month. 

"Although the government has responded to a weak job market by running a range of job support programs from employment retention and job creation support to unemployment benefits and emergency reliefs, the April data told us that we need to provide jobs to absorb shocks in the labor market," Hong said.

The government will work to create 1.56 million jobs in the public sector as a follow up to the 10 trillion won employment support announced in the 5th Emergency Economic Council Meeting held on April 22.

Hong said the government will: 

- Work to fast create 945,000 jobs planned this year, out of which more than 600,000 jobs to be outdoor or remote positions

- Provide more than 550,000 jobs for young adults and low income earners, which include remote jobs, tech jobs and positions in SMEs

- Add 48,000 permanent jobs to the public sector

Action plans will be discussed at the next meeting and financed with a 3rd supplementary budget.  The government will continue to help create private sector jobs, working to boost demand and improve regulations. 

Meanwhile, the ministers also discussed follow-up measures to the National Assembly's approval last week of a bill for artists to be included in unemployment insurance. 

Hong said the government will work to further expand unemployment insurance to platform workers, freelancers and other contract workers.