In the wake of the coronavirus spread in China, the Korean government has taken multiple measures to ensure its citizens and those foreigners inside the country remain safe. As today, Friday September 18th, the number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases in South Korea is 22,657; already 19,771 patients released. Today, 126 new cases were reported.
Update: September 18th, once more a religious group is under the microscope. Korean authorities identified an infection chain that started at Sarang Jeil Church, north Seoul. The congregation of 4,000 members are being tested, with over 1,100 cases already detected. The number is fear to grow higher because church attendants sleep over and share eat together. The spread might go beyond their congregations because several members, including the church’s pastor, Jun Kwang-hoon (who tested positive), attended an anti-government protest during the weekend.
From the 126 reported cases today, 17 imported cases, while 109 are locally originated.
Recently, the Korean Government labelled Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Bangladesh as high-risk countries. The Korean government is asking all foreigners, regardless the nationality, wanting to enter Korea, to present a COVID19 negative test 48 hours before embarking and departing from their countries of origin.
Numbers will keep increasing in the following days, but likely limited. Social distancing and other protocols remain in place, life inside the cities hasn’t and won’t stop.
The beginning of the COVID19 spread in South Korea
The epicenter of the infection spread in Korea was in Deagu, a city about two hours from Seoul. About 90% of the cases registered in Korea have a connection with a religious group called Shincheonji, after one of the members attended a service with more than 1,000 participants. Authorities have raised the national alert to its maximum and the government is dedicating a vast number of resources to contain the spread in Daegu.
Medical Avenue is constantly following the coronavirus reports from local media and medical organizations in Korea. We know that as of now Seoul National University Hospital, Bundang Seoul National University Hospital, Myeongji Hospital, among other hospitals are taking care of the coronavirus cases in Korea. While there is no real threat, for the moment and until further notice Medical Avenue is not sending clients to these institutions.
Control rules inside South Korea: COVID19
After MERS in 2015, Korean medical centers have a strict set of rules. The protocols are designed to prevent infections from spreading inside their facilities. Hospitals and clinics have installed temperature cameras at all entrances. Clients, personal and others have to pass through inspection to make sure they don’t show any symptoms. On top of that, most of the Korean institutions provide free masks. They also offer sanitizer gel and give free counsel about coronavirus in Korea to those who wish it so. Others have even built temporary rooms outside their main buildings for further examinations.
Additionally, the Korean government mandates everyone who enters the country at all the airports to go through examination cameras. During the last few days they have restricted travel from and to China. Meanwhile, those we came from China during the last weeks have to report their condition to designated hotlines.
Finally, to keep a thorough control, everyone with a registered phone receives an alert from the Korean government daily. The alert shows an emergency number (120) and preventive measures. There are also official and non-official sites (https://coronamap.site/) giving a report on the situation of the coronavirus in Korea.
Final words: Travel to Korea coronavirus rules?
We recommend that before traveling to Korea you contact one of our representatives. They will be able to guide you and convey accurate information. We ask our clients to remain calm. It’s important to follow the instructions at planes and public places and trust only certified medical agencies or medical institutions in Korea.
- Coronavirus in Korea
- Flying to South Korea: COVID-19 regulations
- South Korea is the new destination for health tourism
- What Korea has done to control the coronavirus COVID-19 spread. Part 3.
- What Korea has done to control the coronavirus COVID-19 spread. Part 2.
- What has South Korea done to control the coronavirus COVID-19 spread? Part 1.
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