"The current situation and outlook of COVID 19 of each country and Unions' future Role"
Opening Remarks by Na Soon-ja, the KHMU President (June 30)
■ KHMU Introduction
○ Good morning and good afternoon, depending on where you are.
I am Na Soon-ja, the President of the KHMU
○ Welcome you all to the virtual international conference which is titled “COVID-19 Situations Worldwide, Union’s Response, Future Challenges and Direction”
○ First off, I would thank Mr. Rajendra Acharya, UNI APRO Regional Secretary and Adrian Durtschi the head of UNICARE for such warm greetings. Also, my special gratitude should go to all the presenters from Italy, Australia and New Zealand for joining us out of the busy schedules. I would also extend my thanks to Mr. Choi Jung-sik, General Secretary at UNI-KLC for moderating today’s session.
○ The Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union was founded in the year of Grand Labor Struggle, 1987 and was reorganized as an industry-level union in 1989. Over the past three decades, we have represented workers in public and private hospitals as well as other healthcare organizations, with the total number of union members being 73,000. We are affiliated to the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions.
■ COVID-19 Situations in Korea
○ Now, let me touch upon what’s going on in relation to COVID-19 in Korea.
○ The total number of confirmed cases is 12,757 with the death toll recording 282 and the fatality rate registering 2.21%, as of June 29th.
○ On January 18, the first confirmed case was reported and from February 20, confirmed cases drastically increased, reaching a peak of 909 infections per day on February 29. One physician has died and 240 medical staff members have been infected so far.
○ After April 20 and entering into May, the new cases came to reduce to 10 to 20 per day but recently, the country has seen an increase in the new cases up to 50-60 per day, prompting concerns about another wave of the new virus.
○ KCDC (Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and experts warns that the second wave of explosive increase in new cases will come this fall without rigorous everyday life quarantine.
○ Regarding the in-field service situations faced by nurses and medical staff at the front line, Ahn Soo-gyung, the branch head at the NMC will explain in more details.
○ The COVID-19 issues cannot be resolved at the country level. No one country alone can overcome thiis crisis. We all on the globe have to join forces together to combat the virus. Many have been so desperate to acquire vaccine that can end the virus. Once the vaccine is developed, it should be used to treat and cure all, not only a few. Life comes over profit. Medical services should not only a means to profits.
○ It is the very time for workers around the world to be united. Solidary and unity among healthcare workers in particular are required more than ever. Today’s session will not be long enough, but I hope this opportunity will serve as a venue to share experiences and wisdom. Thank you.