South Korea reported 100 new novel coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing total infections to 9,137, as the government plans to widen stricter quarantine measures on arrivals from the US starting Friday to contain a rising number of imported cases.
Of the new cases, 51 cases -- 43 Korean citizens and 8 foreign nationals -- were imported from abroad. Of them, 34 cases -- 28 citizens and 6 foreign nationals -- were identified during airport quarantine screening measures, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total death toll rose by six to 126.
Stepped-up quarantine measures will also be applied to incoming travelers from the US -- Korean citizens and foreign nationals alike -- starting midnight Friday.
Those with symptoms of COVID-19 infection among travelers coming from the US will be transferred to designated facilities for testing.
Among Korean citizens and foreign nationals with long-term visas, those without symptoms will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks. Only those with symptoms will be tested for the virus.
Foreign tourists and short-term visitors without symptoms will be tested and await the test results at designated facilities. If they test negative for the coronavirus, they can enter the country but they will be required to report their health conditions on a daily basis to the authorities.
The measures, so far, have only been applied to inbound travelers from Europe.
Some 1,203 people arrived in Korea from Europe on Monday, with 101 of them having shown symptoms. The remaining 1,102 showed no symptoms, the authorities said Tuesday.
Korea has seen a growing number of cases imported from abroad in recent weeks. This week alone, 55 cases came from Europe, 31 from America and four from Asia. Of all cases in the country, 227 cases came from abroad.
Of the new cases reported Wednesday, 21 were confirmed in Gyeonggi Province, 14 in Daegu, the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak here, 13 in Seoul and five in North Gyeongsang Province. The cases in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province represent 70.5 percent and 13.76 percent, respectively, of the country’s total.
The number of people in Korea who have died of the virus is 126, with the overall fatality rate so far standing at 1.38 percent, according to the KCDC. The death rate is 6.38 percent for those in their 70s and 13.55 percent for those in their 80s.
Some 3,730 people were discharged from quarantine, up 223 from the previous day. So far, a total of 357,896 people have been tested for the virus, with 334,481 testing negative. Some 14,278 people are awaiting test results.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org