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How did Seoul dodge lockdown? Seoul mayor talks about post-COVID-19 era

Seoul Mayor in online city summit (credit: Arirang News (screenshot))

/Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News/ Usually-buzzing finance hubs like London are empty and 
tourists are nowhere to be seen in Milan's plazas.

Some of the largest cities around the world went quiet all due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.  But Seoul, the world's 5th largest urban area by population, managed to avoid the same fate.
How? The Mayor of Seoul says it's all about understanding the city.

"Why do you think this city of nearly 10 million has been able to avoid a lockdown unlike cities of a similar size in other countries?"

"Our principal is very simple and clear. That is the transparency and speed.
Secondly we had made many kinds of innovations such as drive thru or walk thru.. or in case of Itaewon breakout of COVID19,Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to carry out preemptive tests."

To hear Seoul's know-how on handling the coronavirus, mayors of major cities worldwide gathered at 2020 CAC Global Summit, an online conference set up to discuss future measures to tackle pandemics.

"More than 40 mayors across the world have agreed to establish such permanent city government based organizationCAAP. City Alliance Against the Pandemic. So if we can share the information and wisdom together, we can easily overcome this crisis and epidemic."

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the importance of local government has been re-evaluated.
Cities were one step ahead with aggressive testing and tracing, working on the frontline to establish triage centers and innovative testing booths.

"Municipal government is more closely acting with the residents. So it’s inevitable so many innovations and good practices used to come from the local governments."

Mayor Park says civilization faces a great transition with a divide between the pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 eras.  Seoul aims to cope with the Post-Coronavirus Era by utilizing the crisis to make advances in the fields of society, economy and culture.

The city plans to build permanent disease research centers as well as epidemiological investigation facilities. It also plans to tackle inequality by ensuring those most vulnerable to the outbreak have income security.

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