Fellow citizens in Daegu and Gyeogsangbuk-do Province, please be strong. We are fully able to overcome the COVID-19 outbreak and will by all means prevail. The central and local governments as well as the private and public sectors are all pooling their strengths. Local residents and all of the people are adding to those strengths by taking on leading roles regarding infectious disease prevention and control measures.
The Mayor of Daegu, Governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do, relevant officials at the regional headquarters for countermeasures as well as those from the Government’s joint support group and private institutions are strenuously working on the frontlines of the battle with COVID-19. I highly appreciate all of their hard work and send words of encouragement. In particular, I express my profound respect and gratitude for the dedicated efforts of medical professionals and infectious disease prevention and control workers who are struggling with this infectious disease day and night.
More than anything else, I extend my deepest sympathy and words of encouragement to the citizens of Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do, who are suffering a great deal of pain. In spite of this daunting situation in which their daily lives are being threatened, they are pulling together in a calm and composed manner to help bring the situation under control. Even though devastated in a matter of days by a sudden disaster, they have put up with inconveniences and voluntarily taken on the pivotal role in the implementation of infectious disease prevention and control. I am grateful to them for coming together to surmount this crisis.
People across the country are sending messages of support, “Stay strong. We’ll come through this together.” With Gwangju and Jeollanam-do Province leading the way, different parts of the country continue the outpouring of warm-hearted support by sending supplies for infectious disease prevention and control and daily necessities. Once again, I realize that national unity does not lie in a slogan but in the spirit and practice of bearing difficulties together.
The Government will win the battle against this virus without fail together with Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do by gathering all means available across the nation. The Government has launched an all-out support system nationwide, including the deployment of troops and police and the dispatch of private medical personnel. We must prevent COVID-19 from spreading within the region as well as into other regions.
The expression “enforce maximum containment policy” came out in this morning’s briefing on the outcome of a high-level Government-ruling party consultative meeting. I’d like to make it clear that it did not mean a regional lockdown but rather blocking the transmission and spread as much as possible. As there was potential for misunderstanding, I’ve clarified it once again.
What matters is timing and speed. We must achieve a clear turning point in the ever increasing number of confirmed cases within this week. From this evening, the Prime Minister will be stationed here and personally take command in the field in his capacity as the head of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters. By mobilizing all available resources, the Government will do everything it can so that the situation can deescalate as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Government is working out special support measures to ease the social and economic damage that Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do are suffering. This region is literally becoming a compound crises zone. In addition to the direct harm from the catastrophe, the disease is inflicting enormous damage to ordinary people’s livelihoods and daily lives. The Government will swiftly disburse an emergency budget that includes special grants and reserve funds. The situation is so grave that the designation of special management zones will not be enough. To provide sufficient fiscal assistance, the Government will actively reflect such costs when drawing up the supplementary budget after obtaining approval from the National Assembly. I believe that the Assembly will come together.
If we all pool our strengths, there is nothing that we cannot surmount. All of us – the Government and the people – are standing with Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do. Let us prevail together with confidence and courage. Thank you.