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29 Nov 2020 | 09:50 PM UTC

South Korea: Authorities tighten several COVID-19 restrictions as of November 29 /update 41

Authorities tighten several COVID-19 related restrictions amid COVID-19 pandemic as of November 29: abide by government directives

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KOR

Event

South Korean authorities announced on Sunday, November 29, that several coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related restrictions have been tightened as well as a ban issued for all end of year parties due to the rise in the number of cases of the virus in the country. The ban on end of year parties include events at hotels, party rooms, and guest houses, additionally, some public saunas and cafes have been ordered to close. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun further announced that additional restrictions on gatherings as well as activities that are seen as 'prone to the virus' would be implemented throughout the country, especially in Seoul. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 450 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24-hours.

As of November 29, South Korean authorities have recorded 33,824 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, with 523 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider. 

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