|▲Dormitory No.4 is in Operation as a Residential Treatment Center.|
Residential Treatment Centers (RTC) for quarantine and treatment of minor and asymptomatic Covid-19 infected patients have been in operation since the first wave of the COVID-19 cases. Still, thousands infected cases are reported daily across the nation. Gyeongsangnam-do Province, where Changwon city is located used to have fewer infections, thanks to a lower population density as compared to Seoul and the surrounding cities. However, since the beginning of the summer, the number of cases have boomed in Gyeongsangnam-do Province. Starting in Changwon City, the shortage of treatment facilities became noticeable, so local authorities decided to conscript spare facilities of private or national structures. In Gyeongsangnam-do, three facilities, such as 39th Division of Army barracks located in Sacheon, Dormitory of Gyeongsang National university located in Jinju, and a private building in Yangsan City, were operated as provincial RTCs. Despite the efforts of local authorities and the Government, infected cases hit over 90% of their patient capacity.
Currently, the situation in Changwon city has become worse, having around 50 infected cases of COVID-19 per day for months, leading to the declaration of phase four of social distancing. CWNU also announced on August 18th that all classes will be conducted through online learning until the midterm exam period. Additionally, CWNU decided to offer Dormitory building No.4 as a RTC from July 31st to August 24th to fulfill its responsibility to the local community as a national university located in Gyeongsangnam-do. 160 patients can be quarantined in a building, offering a room per person. Lee Ho-young, the president of the CWNU said, “our university is fully prepared to deal with the COVID-19 situation. Thank you for understanding and being considerate of the situation that the university is offering its facilities as a RTC. CWNU asks for understanding and cooperation from each member of the university to fulfill the responsibility as a national university to contribute to overcoming the national crisis.” Lee especially emphasized, “We will do our best not to cause any harm to university members through systematic cooperation with the Central Disease Control Center with the best safety countermeasures.” On the other hand, there are still concerns about whether it will affect students or residents living near the dormitory. CWNU’s Emergency Response Committee ensured that they will do their best to eliminate all security and infection risks for students. Police officers are stationed around the building with medical and operation staff staying on the first and second floors of the building.
Social distancing has been continuous for over a year and a half; people are actually exhausted. Also, vaccination has begun, so it is easy to be careless about infection control. However, it is hoped that not only the university members, but all citizens will follow the quarantine rules to protect their life and to quickly end the social crisis caused by COVID-19. In addition, to recover college life and the local economy. As it is a national university located in Changwon, CWNU has to do its best to help local communities cope with the crisis. The fact that quarantining virus-infected patients can be a concern, but they are thoroughly managing to minimize the risks to others, speaks to the integrity of the university.
By Park Hyun-jong, reporter email@example.com
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