Following a 36 hour shut-down over concerns of coronavirus infection, the National Assembly reopened on Wednesday, and went right back to business to rein in the fast-spreading epidemic.
The parliament swiftly passed three revision bills that allow the country to better fight COVID-19.
Most of them wearing masks, lawmakers voted to pass the so-called 'Corona 3 bills', which are made up of the revised Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act, the Quarantine Act, and the Medical Service Act.
The bills mainly focus on permitting the government to ban the export of face masks and sanitizers when the country's contagious disease alert level is higher than 'caution', and distribute the items to people who are vulnerable to infections.
The amendments also lay out punishments for those who refuse orders from the health authorities. People suspected of having COVID-19 can be fined up to 2,740 U.S. dollars for refusing to be tested, and those who refuse quarantine or hospitalization can receive up to 8,200 U.S. dollars or at least a year in prison.
Authorities will also be allowed to impose an entry ban on people from countries where the epidemic is serious.
Also passed was a bill that involves enhanced monitoring of inpatients, families and medical workers at hospitals by establishing surveillance and record storage systems.
Alongside the bills, the National Assembly also passed a motion to form a special parliamentary committee on the coronavirus crisis.
"This agenda seeks to come up with measures to halt the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea and to discuss ways to fundamentally manage infectious diseases at the parliamentary level."
"The committee will be made up of 18 lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties, and will come up with legislation and countermeasures to contain COVID-19.
It will run until May 29, when the 20th National Assembly ends."
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.