|Civil servants working at Gwangju's Buk-gu office organize boxes that contain face masks, Thursday. The boxes will be delivered to Daegu where coronavirus infection cases are on the rise, Thursday. / Yonhap|
By Baek Byung-yeul
|Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong|
The relief efforts are mostly targeting the southeastern city of Daegu and neighboring North Gyeongsang Province, the regions most affected by the novel coronavirus. As of 9 a.m., Thursday, 1,338 people in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province had tested positive for the rapidly-spreading virus, while the number of coronavirus cases in total across the nation was 1,595.
Samsung Group, the country's largest conglomerate, has donated a combined 30 billion won ($24.6 million) to assist in the provision of medical supplies and other services.
The group's affiliates including Samsung Electronics, Samsung C&T and Samsung Life Insurance decided to donate such a large amount after a series of board member and management committee meetings on the topic.
Lee Jae-yong, the group's de facto leader and vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, said, "Now is the time to share with society."
"Samsung has grown with the support of the people. We have to share with society at a time like this," he said in a statement. The donation will be delivered to the Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association.
|Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun|
The group will provide disinfection services and deliver groceries, thermal detection devices, hand sanitizer and masks to welfare facilities that serve low-income families in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province. It will also offer an in-car disinfection service to customers of its vehicles.
Chung Euisun, executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, said their donations will directly help medical staff who are working hard to provide treatment and those carrying out disinfection activities.
SK Group also announced 5 billion won in donations to the Community Chest of Korea to assist those in the coronavirus-hit Daegu and its neighboring province. SK siltron ― the silicon wafer manufacturing arm of SK Group based in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province ― will spend 400 million won to offer face masks and hand sanitizers to those in the regions as well.
Similarly, LG Group donated 5 billion won to the Community Chest of Korea, asking the relief organization to utilize the money to help people living in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province. In addition to the donation, LG Household & Healthcare will also pay 1 billion won to provide hand sanitizer for people in the area.
Korea's largest steel manufacturer, POSCO, based in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, announced 5 billion won of donations, and Lotte Group, GS Group, Doosan Group and CJ Group offered 1 billion won, respectively.
|LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo|
Samsung Group has raised a 1 trillion won fund to provide emergency support to its subcontractors. The group's affiliates will also make early payments worth 1.6 trillion won this month for purchases of supplies, helping provide partners with a financial cushion against any economic strain caused by the epidemic. LG Group is offering consulting programs and zero-rate loans for their subcontractors.
Sports stars join coronavirus relief efforts
The Lee Seung-yuop Baseball Foundation, founded by Daegu native and retired Samsung Lions baseball player Lee Seung-yuop, said it donated 50 million won to the Daegu Community Chest of Korea as part of the foundation's effort to help those who are struggling with the virus.
"I am so sad that my country and my hometown Daegu are having difficulties. I was greatly loved by Daegu citizens when I was a baseball player … so I decided to join the donation effort," Lee said in a statement.
Olympic gold medalist, figure skater Kim Yuna and her fans donated a combined 108.5 million won to UNICEF Korea, according to her management company, All That Sports. "The contribution was prepared by donations from Kim's fans, and 100 million won from Kim herself. The donation will be delivered to Kyungpook National University Hospital via UNICEF Korea," the company said.