On Wednesday, authorities in South Korea stated that they were looking for a Chinese individual who tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival but vanished while awaiting transport to a quarantine facility. After testing positive upon arrival at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport late on Tuesday, the individual was moved to a nearby hotel to await admission to quarantine but then vanished, according to a health official.
According to the official, Kim Yoo-young, the unnamed person has been added to a wanted list. According to him, if found guilty of breaking the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act, the offender might face fines of up to 10 million won ($7,840) or a year in prison.
“And the person would be deported and banned from entering the country for a certain period of time,” Kim told a media briefing. In response to worries over an outbreak of infections following Beijing’s decision to relax strict zero-COVID policies, South Korea announced on Tuesday that it would require coronavirus tests of all Chinese visitors. With this announcement, South Korea joined a growing list of nations placing restrictions.
South Korea started requiring Chinese visitors to pass a PCR test this week. Beginning on January 5, arrivals may submit a negative PCR test result from 48 hours before departure or a negative rapid antigen test result obtained 24 hours before release. Since January 2, 2,189 persons have entered the country from China. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported that 136 people, or 22.7% of the 590 test subjects, tested positive for COVID-19.
According to KDCA data, 26% of the 281 persons who were tested on Tuesday alone had a good outcome. The disappearance of the Chinese person raised concerns in the media regarding South Korea’s mechanism for managing infected foreign travelers. The health official, Kim, called it a “disgrace” and expressed remorse that the situation could not have been prevented.
“Going forward, we will dispatch more personnel including police to prevent this from recurring,” he said.
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