July 16, 2020 13:03
The government has singled out six countries as at high risk of coronavirus and will subject arrivals from there to tougher quarantine. The plans were announced Wednesday by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun.
Four countries -- Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan -- were already on the list, but the government was squeamish about saying what the new additions are. A health spokesman cited "diplomatic reasons."
From July 20, travelers from the two newly added countries must present negative coronavirus test certificates no older than 48 hours when they check in or when they enter Korea. They will be tested again on arrival here.
"The risk of infections from abroad is still growing amid the worldwide spread of the virus," Chung said. "We must focus our quarantine efforts on preventing infections from abroad because new cases among arrivals from abroad have outnumbered those occurring in the country for the past 10 days."
Some 254 of 463 of cases that were found between July 6 and 15 came from abroad.
From July 24, the government will also temporarily suspend visa-free entry for foreign ship crews who arrive by plane for rotation after a series of cases were found on Russian ships in Busan.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo told lawmakers his ministry will "thoroughly prepare for a second coronavirus spike by revamping organization and reinforcing public health personnel." He also pledged to conduct as much non-contact treatment of patients as possible.
Meanwhile, Korea reported 61 new cases on Thursday morning, 47 of them foreign arrivals, bringing the total to 13,612.
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