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Sharp increase in imported COVID-19 cases put S. Korea on high alert Updated: 2020-07-13 17:08:26 KST

South Korea is seeing a new trend in COVID-19 -- a sharp increase in imported cases.

"In the past two weeks, 42.7 percent of cases were imported while 35.5 percent were local transmissions. The percentage of imported cases has been rising."

The trend continued on Monday, even breaking a record.
The KCDC says, of 62 newly confirmed cases, 43 were imported -- the most since late March when there were 51 of them.

By region, seven were from the Americas, four from Europe, one from Africa and the most -- 31 -- were from Asia.

An in-depth analysis of these imported cases is underway.
But as far as last week is concerned, about 70 percent of the imported cases were foreign nationals.
And they were visiting Korea for various reasons: short-term visits traveling or looking for work, long term for studying, working or visiting family.
In the case of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, most of them were South Koreans visiting their home country, while for the Philippines, it was mostly crew on cargo ships.

To prevent these cases from spreading into local communities, the country has once again ramped up its quarantine measures.

"Starting Monday, we are requiring all foreign nationals entering from high-risk countries to submit a document showing they've tested negative within the last 48 hours. Also, we are tightening quarantine at sea ports by sending all foreign entrants to a temporary isolation center."

The requirement for a test is new,but South Korea had already been restricting visas, flights, and the entry of those coming in from high-risk countries.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
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