Influx of imported Covid cases poses ‘new challenge’ in South Korea

Seoul, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- A daily influx of imported Covid-19 cases is posing a “new challenge” for South Korea, an expert warned on Friday.

Kwon Jun-wook, director general of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), highlighted the importance of detection systems at customs as a way to combat the number of infected people entering the country.

South Korea never closed its external borders but it is mandatory for international arrivals to undergo a PCR test and quarantine for 14 days after landing.

The KCDC reported 21 new local infections from 39 imported infections on Friday, a figure that solidifies a trend seen in the last week.

There has been an average of 17 new daily cases caused by domestic infections and 30 which have originated outside the country.

South Korea has not experienced such a large flow of imported cases since March.

Kwon, speaking at a press conference in Seoul, said control measures for travelers coming into South Korea will not be relaxed “in the short term”.

He added that mandatory testing upon arrival had led to “a large number of asymptomatic people are being detected.”

As of this week, travelers from Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, which have all seen a significant rise in infections, also need a negative test result to board flights to South Korea, Kwon continued.

Health ministry spokesman Song Young-rae said authorities are preparing for three possible scenarios over the arrival of a new wave of infections in autumn-winter.

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