S. Korea imposes tough quarantine measures for all travelers from Europe

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : March 16, 2020, 13:24 | Updated : March 16, 2020, 15:42

[Photograph by Yoo Dae-gil = dbeorlf123@ajunews.com]

SEOUL -- All travelers from Europe will go through tightened quarantine measures at airports when they enter South Korea as a global coronavirus pandemic spreads rapidly across many European countries.

Health officials said that travelers from all European countries would go through fever checks, submit papers on health conditions and download a smartphone app for monitoring during their stay in South Korea. "The spread of COVID-19 in Europe is alarming," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Monday.

Similar requirements have been applied to travelers coming via Dubai and Moscow as well as those from China, Macau, Hong Kong and Iran. South Korea has imposed tough entry restrictions on Japanese visitors.

So far, eight foreigners have been quarantined as patients, including six from China, one from France and one from Poland.

South Korea reported 74 new cases that brought the total number of infections to 8,236 as of midnight on March 15. The virus has killed 76 patients while a total of 1,137 patients have been cured and discharged from hospitals since the first case was reported on January 20.

"The urgent moment has passed and I see some hopeful signs," Chung said. "But it's never the time to relax, he said, warning that group infections could recur at any time.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon urged churches to suspend off-line services, citing sporadic group infections among believers. "I strongly and earnestly ask that religious events be online or restrained for the time being," he told a press briefing on Monday.

A Protestant church in Seongnam, one of Seoul's southern satellite cities, has reported a group infection of 46 believers including a reverend couple. Park said some 33 percent of churches still hang on to offline services.
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