Korean communities in China and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in China once again united to protect Koreans from COVID-19 spreading in China.
They distributed masks to protect overseas Koreans from COVID-19 back in 2020. This time, they supported COVID-19 diagnostic kits and fever reducers.
Their recent move was made to resolve the difficulties of Koreans in China buying medicine and kits even with money when they are diagnosed with COVID-19 due to the sharp increase in demands for diagnostic kits and medicine.
In Beijing with the highest popularity of Korean residents in China, the Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing distributed COVID-19 diagnostic kits and fever reducers for Korean residents from the 20th.
The Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing distributed one self-diagnostic kit per household at two Korean restaurants (Saemaeul Sikdang and Vasakan), the Medical Advisory Center of the Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing, and the Korean Consulate General in China on the 15th for Koreans who are facing hard times due to COVID-19.
Korean residents in China lined up to get diagnostic kits and fever reducers distributed by the Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing
Korean residents in China filling out personal information to get diagnostic kits and fever reducers distributed by the Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing
2,000 diagnostic kits prepared by the Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing quickly ran out, so the Foundation figured out additional demands of diagnostic kits and fever reducers and distributed them to necessary Korean residents.
On 22, the Korean Embassy in China directly purchased medicine from pharmaceutical company under the approval of the Chinese government to help Korean residents in Beijing because it became difficult to buy medicine due to the spread of COVID-19.
Korean groups such as the Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing requested the Embassy to arrange a mass purchase of Lianhua Qingwen, a Chinese flue medicine from the manufacturer, and the Embassy delivered this request to the Chinese government and obtained approval.
The Korean Embassy in China reported that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China approved the direct purchase of 66,700 packs of Lianhua Qingwen and delivery of the medicine to Korean groups began on 21.
The Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing began to distribute Lianhua Qingwen to Korean residents in China starting on the 22nd.
Announcing the distribution of Chinese cold medicine purchased by the Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing via WeChat
“With the sudden relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown policy by the Chinese quarantine authority, we distributed diagnostic kits and cold medicine purchased with the donations to Korean residents,” said the Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing. “We would like to thank those who provided a place for distribution, volunteers, and everyone who organized the COVID-19 emergency response team and helped the Korean residents despite of busy schedule.”
A Beijing resident said, “It is really difficult to buy drugs recommended as household COVID-19 medicine online and even if I successfully buy it, it takes over fifteen days to get delivered. It’s nearly impossible to take medicine and treat COVID-19 at the right time. The diagnostic kit and fever reducer provided by the Overseas Koreans Foundation of Beijing is like sweet rain during a drought.”
The demand for medical resources in China is rapidly increasing due to the strict quarantine policy, but China’s medical resources are insufficient to cover the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
Chinese people couldn’t rely on the Chinese medical system and began to buy medicine individually, which is causing panic buying. The Chinese government announced they will strictly restrict mass-buying or price rises by pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies and yet it is difficult to buy COVID-19 drugs at pharmacies.
The Korean Chinese Society made a quick move when the Chinese government announced the mitigation of COVID-19 quarantine policies. Because Korean residents in China already experience difficulty of finding masks in 2020 with the spread of COVID-19.
The Federation of Koreans Associations promoted a group purchase of diagnostic kits that were in short supply. The Federation of Koreans Associations figured out the demand of the Korean communities of each region, secured 200,000 COVID-19 diagnostic kits, and delivered them to the local Korean communities.
“According to the Notification of Quality Safety Control Work of COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Kit of the National Medical Products Administration, only pharmacies and medical equipment operating companies with a drug management license or a medical equipment management license can sell diagnostic kits,” said the Federation of Koreans Associations. “Individuals selling the distributed diagnostic kit can be charged with up to life imprisonment. Make sure to avoid selling them individually.”
China plunged into a state of confusion with the unexpected mitigation of COVID-19 policies. Accordingly, the difficulties of Korean residents in China have increased but Koreans are supporting each other and holding out the COVID-19 situations with the quick response of the Overseas Koreans Foundation and the Korean Embassy in China.