To prevent further infections and to ease the concerns of local boat owners amid the increasing number of fishing enthusiasts flowing in to the area as the weather warms up,the Korea Coast Guard is disinfecting their vessels regularly in cooperation with local governments.
"More than 70 percent of the people coming here to fish arrive from other regions. If one gets infected, it could become a community-based transmissionpossibly leading to a cluster infection."
Keeping a meter apart is practically impossible on the vessel. So COVID-19 quarantine on the sea focuses on preventive measures: checking passengers' temperatures before they board the boat as well as having everyone wear face masks and disinfect their hands.
"The most important part of the boat to disinfect is the common area where fisherman eat and rest. The area is confined and enclosed, so it's crucial to prevent any possible infection."
The captain is in charge of quarantining the boat and keeping passengers safe.
"To run our business right now, disinfection is a must. We do it ourselves, but it's expensive. We are extremely grateful for the hard work of the Taean Coast Guard."
The Korea Coast Guard's patrol vessel, which usually goes out to sea for days to conduct inspections, also undergoes strict quarantine.
From the control room to the engine facilitiesareas where the Coast Guard officials work are carefully sanitized.
The marine police have also modified their methods for cracking down on illegal activities at sea.
These empty holding cells are a result of COVID-19 outbreak.
"The crime rate hasn't gone down. But as illegal actions on sea involve foreign vessels, we focus on evicting them and minimizing face-to-face contact."
To share their experience of maritime quarantine, the Korea Coast Guard has published an English-language brochure.
It plans to share it with some 80 coast guards and related agencies around the world
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News, Taean.