In a bid to curb the continuing rise in imported new coronavirus cases, South Korea plans to put more countries on its list of nations under tougher anti-virus quarantine measures, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Wednesday.
“(The government) will make a decision today that will additionally designate countries with higher (virus) import risks as nations that are subject to tougher quarantine measures,” Chung said in a regular government COVID-19 response meeting in the administrative city of Sejong. “For the newly designated countries, stronger quarantine measures will be applied, including visa restrictions, a limit on (inbound) flights, and the submission of negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results (for people arriving from the countries).”
The decision will add more countries, reportedly including the Philippines and Uzbekistan, to South Korea’s special list of nations under tougher precautionary quarantine steps. Currently, four nations — Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan — are on the list. The decision comes as the daily number of imported virus cases has surpassed the number of locally transmitted cases in recent days.
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South Korea reported 39 new daily cases Wednesday, 28 of which were imported from outside of South Korea, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
Of the 33 new cases reported a day earlier, 19 were from outside of the country, spawning concerns about a sustained rise in such cases. The prime minister also said South Korea will temporarily halt a visa waiver system for foreign crewmen traveling through South Korea after many cases were reported among foreign sailors arriving in South Korea through the system.
“Over the past 10 days, the proportion of imported virus cases has been bigger than that of local transmissions, making it necessary to put the focus on blocking cases coming from outside of the country,” the prime minister noted. (Yonhap)