The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be given total control over government measures from the early stages of a new infectious disease outbreak in the country.
This would give the director of the CDC the status and authority of a vice minister.
The decision was made during a meeting Tuesday attended by government officials and the ruling party to improve the nation′s disease control system.
The move follows the recent outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome， which raised issues over who has the authority over preventive measures.
Ruling party officials have also agreed to hire more workers and ordered general hospitals to fortify their facilities.
A new department will also be established within the CDC to take charge of beefing up inspection measures to prevent new diseases from entering Korea.