Seoul: A total of 82 countries and regions have imposed entry bans or quarantine procedures on visitors from South Korea to date over new coronavirus fears on Monday, despite Seoul’s beefed-up diplomacy to prevent inordinate measures targeting its citizens. Also Read - Deepika Padukone Cancels Paris Fashion Week Tour Ahead Of Coronavirus Scare
The number of COVID-19 infections in South Korea has risen to 4,335 with 26 deaths, and the country is speeding up the testing process under an all-out campaign to stem the virus’ spread. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: ‘Mandatory Screening of Passengers From Italy, Iran,’ Says DGCA
New Zealand was also added to the daily tally of countries enforcing quarantine measures against Koreans. The country now puts visitors who have traveled to South Korea or northern Italy in the past two weeks under a 14-day self-quarantine. Also Read - Passengers Undergoing Screening at 21 Airports, 12 Seaports: Harsh Vardhan on Coronavirus
Maldives plans to enforce an entry ban on those from South Korea’s southeastern city of Daegu, seen as a cluster of infections, and other regions, starting Tuesday. But it has decided not to bar the entry of those from Seoul, a foreign ministry official said.
In China, 14 provinces and cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have enforced strong quarantine measures against travellers from South Korea or parts of the country such as Daegu that have reported a cluster of virus infections.
The US has yet to impose any entry restrictions for South Koreans. But the State Department has raised its travel advisory for Daegu to the highest level, which urges its people not to travel, citing the level of community spread of the virus.
US President Donald Trump said Sunday that people arriving in the U.S. “from certain designated high-risk countries or areas within those countries” will be screened both before leaving the country and when arriving.
Seoul has been beefing up diplomacy to persuade countries to not enforce entry restrictions, stressing its capacity to contain the virus.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha has held a series of phone talks with her foreign counterparts or related officials to urge their countries to trust Seoul’s quarantine efforts and not to take any “excessive measures.”
The foreign ministry is also in talks with dozens of countries, which have banned the entry of people from South Korea, to explore ways to enable businesspeople here to travel to those countries.