South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has decided to roll out financial measures to support domestic shipping firms as the escalation of coronavirus places increasing financial pressure on the industry, local newswire Yonhap reports.
Under the plan, South Korea will provide around KRW90bn ($76m) in low interest loans to local shipping firms and each firm can apply for up to KRW5bn.
The ministry also said it would fully exempt shipping firms from port dues until their operations to China and Japan are normalised.
“We plan to take preemptive actions to minimize damage to local maritime firms amid the spread of COVID-19. South Korea will continue to see if there are any other difficulties facing the businesses,” said South Korea’s oceans minister Moon Seong-hyeok.
South Korea has raised its alert status to the highest level after it became the most coronavirus-hit country outside of China with the total number of infected people now escalating to over 4700.