Crew of Russian Ship in Busan Test Positive for COVID-19

  • By Park Joo-young, Yang Ji-ho

    June 23, 2020 11:29

    Sixteen out of 20 crewmembers of a Russian trawler which arrived Busan over the weekend have tested positive for coronavirus, officials in the southern port city said Monday.

    A health official said, "Tests were conducted as soon as the ship entered the port, and there was no contact with people outside of the vessel."

    But the transport workers union of Busan said some 160 workers who boarded the ship to unload cargo and conduct repairs were placed in self-quarantine. Health officials said the Russians will be treated at Busan Medical Center.

    A Russian ship is docked at a port in Busan on Tuesday. /Newsis

    Meanwhile, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon on Monday warned of a second wave of infections and pledged to declare anther lockdown should the average number of daily infections surpass 30 for three days running.

    "A second wave of mass infections can happen at any time," Park said. "If the average daily number of infections surpasses 30 or the 70 percent of available hospital beds are filled, we will have no choice but to return to lockdown."

    At present, 53.7 percent or 490 hospital beds set aside for coronavirus patients are filled. A return to lockdown would mean that Seoul citizens will be barred from gathering in groups and outdoor activities. Schools may have to close again.

    A spate of new infections have occurred throughout the Seoul metropolitan area and now spreading to other parts of the country. There has also been an increase in new cases among those arriving from overseas, according to health authorities. In March and April, about 80 to 90 percent of them were Koreans who returned to Korea to escape from the epidemic, but since the second week of June, about half of them were foreigners who came to Korea for work amid a labor shortage here as the agricultural season started.

    Meanwhile Korea reported 46 new cases as of Tuesday morning, 30 of them being foreign arrivals, bringing the total to 12,484.

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