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COVID-positive Chinese runs away from quarantine hotel

Posted January. 05, 2023 07:59,   

Updated January. 05, 2023 07:59


A Chinese man in his 40s, who tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving at Incheon International Airport, refused to spend three days in quarantine but ran away, thereby being tracked down by the South Korean police. As of Wednesday, 76 percent of COVID-19 patients from overseas turned out to have departed from China. Amid the worsening of the COVID-19 situation across China, concerns are growing that variants can penetrate South Korea.

The Chinese national refused to stay in quarantine in a hotel designated as one of the quarantine hotels in Yeongjongdo, Incheon, and ran out of the facility at around 10:07 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Incheon Jungbu Police Station. A PCR test was carried out upon his arrival at the airport to find him positive for COVID-19, thus leaving him obligated to stay in quarantine for the following seven days. However, waiting to have a room assigned to each confirmed case from overseas who was transferred by bus to the hotel in question, he was looking for a chance to run away and flee. Neither any quarantine officer nor security guard at the scene could prevent him from escaping.

Early Wednesday morning, he was seen in CCTV recordings by the police walking around a supermarket 200 away from the hotel. Quarantine authorities announced that the man was wanted, considering whether to disclose his identity. The police also suspected he might have gotten out of Yeongjongdo by taxi.

There have recently been a growing number of confirmed cases departing from China. According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, 76 percent or 131 of 172 confirmed cases from overseas came from China on Wednesday midnight, totaling short-term travelers, long-stay foreigners, and incoming South Korean nationals. The execution of PCR testing on incoming visitors from China mandated since Monday has shown a clear picture of the makeup of confirmed cases from overseas. Over the past week, 587 people from overseas tested positive, and 41.9 percent, or 246 travelers, came from China.

Of 281 foreigners on a short-term visit from China who received a PCR test on Tuesday, 26 percent, or 73 people, tested positive. The positive rate rose by 6.3 percentage points from 19.7 percent compared to the previous day when tighter quarantine measures were first put in place.

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