1. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Sei-young had the 8th multilateral teleconference on COVID-19 response with his counterparts of countries in the region on the morning of May 8.
° The teleconference among the vice foreign ministers of 7 countries -- the Republic of Korea, the United States, Japan, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of India, and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam -- has taken place on a weekly basis following the first meeting on March 20.
2. In the teleconference, the vice foreign ministers shared the developments in the spread of COVID-19 and response measures in their respective countries and exchanged in-depth views on the impact of COVID-19 on various areas, including air services and agriculture.
3. Vice Minister Cho explained that the ROK government had ended social distancing on May 6, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is stabilizing in Korea, and transitioned to “prevention in daily life,” in which thorough infection prevention measures are kept in place while people carry out daily lives as well as economic and social activities.
° The Vice Minister added that, nevertheless, the ROK government remains vigilant and has announced guidelines for individuals and communities regarding the implementation of distancing in daily life, stressing that the shift to “prevention in daily life” does not mean a return to the pre-COVID-19 life.
° The Vice Minister also explained that the ROK government has drawn up ways to improve the system for the use of medical services, including designating and operating about 1,000 respiratory clinics, and is doing its utmost to brace itself for a potential second wave of COVID-19.
° In addition, the Vice Minister commended the robust cooperation for safe repatriation of respective countries’ nationals, extending appreciation to the Japanese government for its cooperation on the recent safe return of a Korean child, who had an urgent need to come home from the Republic of India for treatment of acute leukemia.