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S Korea warns of jail for quarantine violators

Published : Friday, 27 March, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 179

SEOUL, Mar 26: South Korea warned on Thursday that it will deport foreigners while its citizens could face jail if they violate self-quarantine rules after a surge in imported coronavirus cases.
South Korea has tightened entry rules for travellers from countries suffering big outbreaks, subjecting them to two weeks of mandatory quarantine but at least 11 people violated self-quarantine rules between March 13 and 24, the health ministry said. It did not specify their nationalities.
"We will apply zero-tolerance principles in taking action against those who leave their self-isolation venue without legitimate reasons," Yoon Tae-ho, director-general for public health policy at the health ministry, told a briefing.
"Foreign nationals will be forcibly repatriated and Korean citizens will be reported to police for due penalties and lose financial support provided for those who have faithfully implemented a 14-day quarantine."
South Koreans who violate the rules could be jailed for up to a year and fined 10 million won ($8,100).
South Korea reported 104 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, including 30 imported one, the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said. That brought its total cases to 9,241, with a new death toll of 142, up from 126.
The number of infected travellers arriving in South Korea has grown more than five-fold to 284 over the past two weeks, the KCDC said.

Other countries in Asia, including China and Singapore, have also seen sharp increases in imported cases, threatening their largely successful efforts to get domestic epidemics under control.
Many of those coming back are citizens of those Asian countries who have been studying in Britain and the United States, now leaving as the coronavirus spreads rapidly there and their schools and universities suspend classes.     -REUTERS

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