February 24, 2020 12:36
Israel has banned all visitors from Korea, turning back some 130 passengers aboard a Korean Air flight two hours after it landed in Tel Aviv on Saturday. Only the Israelis on board were allowed to disembark. Bahrain also banned all travelers from Korea. On the same day, the U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory for Korea by a notch to "strengthened caution," and Taiwan and Vietnam took similar steps. A growing number of countries are either bolstering screening of visitors from Korea or restricting their entry.
Koreans have become global pariahs because their government dragged its heels over banning visitors from China, and continues to drag them even now on the bizarre reasoning that it is too late anyway. China has ordered half of its 1.4 billion population to stay home, while many cities have been locked down. People there cannot leave their homes without government approval, and only one person per household is allowed out every two or three days to buy provisions. People caught walking the streets without a permit are subject to stiff punishment. The government there knows that the most effective deterrent to an epidemic is to limit the movement of humans, yet it lets its citizens freely visit Korea and other countries, and Korea has obligingly left the doors wide open, to the point where Chinese people are having an easier time coming here than visiting some cities in their own country.
The Korean government has also offloaded the responsibility for quarantining Chinese students onto universities. One mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party in a recent article warned the epidemic is "serious" in Korea. The country left its doors open to Chinese visitors, and now they are pointing their finger at Korea. It is a scandal that Chinese visitors can still come here freely while Koreans are being denied entry in other countries.
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