Gov't Urged to Ban Travelers from Europe

  • By Shon Jin-seok

    March 19, 2020 12:58

    Deaths from coronavirus in Europe have now surpassed those in China.

    As of Tuesday 3,439 people had died from the virus in Europe, compared to 3,237 in China. The number of confirmed cases in Europe is 77,332, hard on the heels of China's 80,894 but with a population of only 750 million or half of China's 1.38 billion.

    The 27 member states of the EU held a video summit on Tuesday and decided to ban the entry of all non-EU nationals into the EU for 30 days. A considerable number of member states had already put their own bans on travelers from abroad.

    Incheon International Airport is deserted on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    Experts in Korea also urge a ban on travelers from Europe. Choi Dae-jip, the head of the Korean Medical Association, said, "The government should not repeat the mistake of failing to ban travelers from China in the early stage of the COVID-19 crisis. As the situation is getting worse in Europe, we need to prevent infected people coming to Korea."

    But Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Jeong Eun-kyeong said, "The number of people coming from Europe has dwindled to about 10 percent of normal figures, and most of them are Korean nationals. At this point, banning travelers from Europe would have little effect."

    Meanwhile, the Chinese government advised its citizens not to travel to 15 countries including Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.S.

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