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S. Korea best in responding to COVID-19 among OECD countries: PM


South Korea’s Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Friday hailed the country’s effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, citing this year’s sustainable development report by a team of international experts that put the country at No. 1 among OECD countries.

“Such feedback (on Korea’s response to the pandemic) on a global forum is due to the dedication by our medical professionals and cooperation by members of the public,” he said at a pangovernmental meeting on the COVID-19 response Friday.

Published by Cambridge University Press, the Sustainable Development Report 2020 was written by lead author Jeffrey Sachs and a team of independent experts working at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network under the auspices of the UN secretary-general.

“Overall, South Korea tops this new index followed by Baltic countries and countries from the Asia Pacific region. By contrast, Western European countries and the United States were less successful in mitigating health and economic impacts from Covid-19,” the report said.

Chung also said that the country’s signature drive-thru COVID-19 testing system was adopted as a new work item proposal of the International Organization for Standardization, which he called a first step to making it an international standard.

However, the prime minister warned against letting guard down, citing new waves of COVID-19 infections worldwide after the easing of lockdowns.

On Friday, Korea reported 20 new cases from the day before, including nine locally transmitted cases, bringing the total caseload to 14,519, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By Ock Hyun-ju (