Officials wearing protective attire work to diagnose people with suspected symptoms of the new coronavirus at a hospital in Daegu, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (File photo: AP)
South Korea plans to take further steps to tighten border controls to slow coronavirus infections imported from abroad as outbreaks worsen in Europe and the United States.
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun during an anti-virus meeting on Wednesday said Seoul will suspend visa-free entries and visa waivers with countries imposing entry bans on South Korean nationals and employ further restrictions to repel foreigners traveling on “unnecessary and non-urgent purposes.”
Officials were expected to formally announce the measures later Wednesday.
South Korea has been enforcing two-week quarantines on all passengers arriving from abroad since April 1.
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday reported 53 new cases of the coronavirus and 8 more deaths, bringing national totals to 10,384 infections and 200 fatalities.
At least 832 infections have been linked to passengers arriving from abroad, with most of the cases detected in the past three weeks in the densely populous Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of South Korea’s 51 million people live.