Incoming passengers headed for Seoul must get tested for virus

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Incoming passengers headed for Seoul must get tested for virus

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Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon speaks at a press conference on coronavirus quarantine guidelines at Seoul City Hall on Thursday. [YONHAP]

Starting tomorrow, all Koreans and foreigners arriving from overseas who intend to stay in Seoul will be required to be tested for the coronavirus.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon announced at a press conference at Seoul City Hall Thursday morning that anyone who plans to stay in the capital after arriving from a foreign country will have to be tested at the airport, their local community health center or a makeshift testing center that will be set up at the Seoul Sports Complex in Songpa District, southern Seoul.

People who feel symptoms of the coronavirus will be tested at the airport. Those who don’t feel symptoms will be required to be tested at their local community health center or at the Seoul Sports Complex.

The city is strongly recommending incoming travelers get tested before they go to their homes.

Rides on limousine buses will be offered at Incheon International Airport to bring arriving passengers to the testing centers.

Seoul’s new guidelines are more rigorous than the central government’s, which allow Koreans and foreigners arriving from a foreign country other than Europe to forgo a virus test unless they come down with symptoms.

Park explained Thursday that the city has decided to test all incoming people because a large number of the people arriving from abroad were coming to Seoul.

Citing data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), Park said about 22,000 people, mostly Koreans who study or live abroad, are expected to arrive in the country by April 22 as the coronavirus spreads across the globe.

The KCDC announced Thursday morning that 89 new cases of the coronavirus were counted in the nation Wednesday, down from 101 new cases tallied Tuesday.

Of Wednesday’s 89 new cases, 36 were imported. Among Korea’s 9,976 total infections, 601 cases, or about 6 percent, were imported.

A total of 169 people have died as of Wednesday midnight, up by four from the previous day, while 5,828 patients have been declared fully recovered, up 261 from the day before.

The majority of Korea’s imported cases are from Europe and the Americas.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]


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