S Korea declares zero tolerance for self-isolation violators
Seoul, March 26 (IANS): South Korea on Thursday declared a no-tolerance stance toward those who violate self-isolation rules due to the coronavirus pandemic, warning that violators will face legal punishment or deportation.
The government issued the strong warning as some arrivals from Europe and the US have not abided by the two-week self-isolation guidelines, sparking concerns about the spread of COVID-19, reports the Yonhap News Agency.
The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters announced that any foreigner leaving his or her self-isolation venue without permission will be expelled from the country.
Local violators will not receive a leave subsidy totaling 1.23 million won (U$1,000) in the case of a four-member household.
Police will maintain their highest alert status and be ready to make an emergency response to any breach of the rules, the agency said, noting violators could be fined up to 10 million won or imprisoned for up to a year under the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act.
The government has also decided to deny entry to inbound travellers at the airport who are ordered to self-isolate but fail to install the self-quarantine safety protection app intended to keep track of their locations in the country.
The installation rate of the self-quarantine app installation among those asked to self-isolate here for 14 days reached 60.9 per cent on Wednesday evening, and 11 people were reported to have left self-isolation without authorization from March 13-24, the agency said.
The government will also encourage ordinary citizens to report any self-isolation violations to the local authorities, said the Yonhap News Agency report.
South Korea has required all arrivals from Europe and the US.to undergo stricter quarantine procedures and to remain in 14-day self-isolation due to spikes in imported cases.
The total number of infections from abroad jumped by 34 to 101 on Tuesday, the biggest single-day rise so far. The country has reported a total caseload of 9,137 since the first case on January 20.
There has been a total of 131 deaths.