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Refrain from visiting 6 countries with local community infection, gov’t says

Refrain from visiting 6 countries with local community infection, gov’t says

Posted February. 12, 2020 08:12,   

Updated February. 12, 2020 08:12


The South Korean government has advised its citizens against travelling to six Asian regions other than China where the novel coronavirus spread in local communities. The countries on the list are Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan, which actively exchange with China among 12 countries (South Korea included) with confirmed or suspected infection cases announced by the World Health Organization, which belatedly warned the risk of infection in the third countries.

“It is a measure to stop the virus from coming into Korea through the third country,” South Korean Vice Health Minister Kim Kang-lip, who is serving vice head of the Central Disaster Management Headquarters, said at Thursday briefing. “Please minimize the number of travelers if visiting these countries is inevitable, and refrain from going on business trips and attending international seminars.”

The government advised those who visited a country with confirmed cases to stay home and avoid contacts with others for 14 days. Except those with local community infection, there are 18 countries with confirmed cases including the U.S., Germany and France. To those visiting these countries, the government requested to perform infection control measures, such as hand-washing and cough etiquette (cover coughs with disposable tissues or clothing), and refrain from going to crowded places.

The government, however, did not adjust the travel alert level. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the third level of “withdrawal recommendation” for China’s Hubei province and the second level of “restraint” to other regions in China, including Hong Kong and Macau. “Travel alerts are determined after comprehensively analyzing situations in each country such as public security, natural disasters and others,” said Kim. “The alerts are to help citizens make decisions whether to travel by providing information on the infectious disease.”

“We found cases of infection in those who have not recently traveled to China,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday to warn the danger of the third country infection. “These cases may give off sparks to a bigger fire.”

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