South Korea’s parliament is going non-contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
These new transparent partitions are one of the measures.
Another is the policy to limit all meetings to 50 people – the standard set by the government under its level two of social distancing.
The same rule applies to government Q&A sessions,which lawmakers are taking turns to attend and some parts of the schedule have been canceled.
United Future Party lawmaker Choi Hyung-du, who had to go through testing himself after indirectly coming in contact with a patient, stressed the importance of these efforts.

“COVID-19 is very serious at the moment, so it was inevitable that the parliament took these measures. But to make sure these changes don’t hamper the session, we are reviewing and questioning the details more thoroughly.”

Lawmakers are also turning more tech-savvy, holding webinars for first time last week.

“We thought of delaying the seminar, but thanks to this innovative video chat system “ZOOM”, we are able to hold this remote meeting”

Also being held online…is the ruling Democratic Party’s chairman elections.
Online voting began on Monday, and the results will be live streamed during a virtual national convention on Saturday.

“We are faced with choosing either going online completely or doing nothing,.. and we decided to go online to prevent any further spread.”

Former prime minister Lee Nak-yon, one of the candidates, will be running his campaigns online as he is currently quarantining for two weeks after coming in indirect contact with a patient.

In line with these efforts, employees at the National Assembly are working from home on a rotating basis.
And media are sharing their footage to reduce the number of reporters inside venues.

“The National Assembly is considering making all parliamentary procedures remote… including meetings and voting.
If lawmakers agree on this, the system could take effect as soon as next month.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.”

Reporter : kelee@arirang.com

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