President Moon Jae-in said that the government will help facilitate exports of South Korea's COVID-19 diagnostic materials.
Moon was speaking Wednesday on a visit to SeeGene a local producer of COVID-19 diagnostic reagents, which are used to extract virus RNA from test samples.
He noted the growing calls from other countries for South Korea to export these reagents, adding that U.S. President Donald Trump also requested medical equipment support in a phone call the previous day.
South Korea says that will be possible so long as there are enough supplies domestically.
Global coordination in quarantine and economy has become urgent. The testing capability of our companies will play a great role in global coordination. The WHO has pointed to South Korea as a model for its COVID-19 response, citing its development of innovative testing strategies, patient tracing, testing and isolation.
Moon praised SeeGene and four other local biofirms for developing these solutions even before there were any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country saying they are at the forefront of the fight against the outbreak.
SeeGene, in particular, has signed an agreement with the U.S. county of Los Angeles to export 20-thousand diagnostic reagents.
The five South Korean firms make enough diagnostic reagents to test 135-thousand people a day.
President Moon also pointed out that the government has eased regulations to allow emergency use approval which means the administrative process now takes a week in contrast to the usual 18 month average.
South Korea's swift testing, swift results, swift isolation and swift treatment, together with the world's top accuracy in testing, have borne fruit in quarantine.
Moon pledged active support from the government to boost the competitiveness of the country's bio industry, on top of the extra budget, to be used in part for researching and developing treatments as well as establishing a research center on novel coronaviruses.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.