Imported COVID-19 infection cases outpace local ones

Kwak Sung-sun  Published 2020.03.25  16:48  Updated 2020.03.26 14:56


The government said 34 out of 100 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as of midnight Tuesday were from people who tested positive at quarantine on arrivals at the Incheon airport.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new confirmed cases among people entering the country surpassed locally-reported new cases.

As of midnight Tuesday, Gyeonggi Province added 21 cases, Daegu, 14, and Seoul, 13 – which were all fewer than the number of newly confirmed patients reported from the quarantine procedure.

The rising number of imported cases comes when experts note that it is essential to block the entry of COVID-19 patients because the pandemic is hitting the globe extensively.

To prevent imported cases, the government has been testing all people coming from Europe for COVID-19 since Sunday. To brace for a surge of arrivals, the government decided to apply different criteria for Koreans and foreigners.

From 2 p.m. Tuesday, the government ordered Koreans entering the country without symptoms to self-quarantine and get tested at a public health center within three days after arrival.

Foreigners entering the country will be isolated at the airport for COVID-19 testing. Among them, those for a long-term stay will have to self-quarantine for 14 days, and those for a short stay will get active monitoring. Some of the isolation facilities for the waiting for the test will be turned into a facility to quarantine people with symptoms.

The government said such measures were aimed to resolve various problems, such as time-consuming virus tests that could occur when entries spike at the airport and shift the focus of disease control from asymptomatic people to those with symptoms.

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