France praises Korea’s response to COVID-19
April. 25, 2020
Global Korean Post
By Song Baleun and Lee Jihae
French first lady Brigitte Macron has hailed Korea’s response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as “exemplary.”
Cheong Wa Dae Deputy Spokesperson Yoon Jae-kwan on April 23 said in a written briefing that first lady Kim Jung-sook and her French counterpart talked over the phone the day before at the latter’s request, with both discussing responses to the pandemic.
Macron praised Korea’s “exemplary fulfillment” of general elections despite the outbreak, as well as the government’s swift and transparent response to the pandemic. She added that the remarkable activities of women such Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha and Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Jung Eun-Kyeong left a strong impression on her.
First lady Kim also thanked the French government for recently arranging flights to help the safe return of Korean nationals stranded in Africa. She also expressed support for the French government’s bid to push ahead with international cooperation with Africa to respond to COVID-19.
The spokesperson said first lady Macron showed deep interest in Korea’s response to COVID-19 in everyday life, such as the wearing of masks, the online opening of schools and issues with child care. Both women agreed that government must do its best to prevent the changed education environment as shown by the online opening of the school year from hurting children through inequality in educational opportunity and the wealth gap.
The day after the phone talks, French Ambassador to Korea Philippe Lefort visited Institut Pasteur Korea, a think tank in Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do Province, to check the status of COVID-19 treatment and discuss boosting bilateral cooperation.
The French Embassy in Seoul said the think tank is “assuming a pioneering role in R&D of COVID-19 treament,” adding, “Ambassador Philippe Lefort praised the remarkable achievements of the institute, as it has played a key role not only in promoting bilateral scientific cooperation but also in international cooperation in the fight against infectious diseases.”