NATIONAL

Polish virus patient caught breaking mandatory quarantine

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Mar 30, 2020 - 20:10
  • Updated : Mar 30, 2020 - 20:12

(Yonhap)

Amid the rising number of imported cases of COVID-19 infections, a Polish national who tested positive reportedly carried out outdoor activities while in quarantine, sparking concerns of a community spread, local reports said Monday.

The Yongsan District in Seoul posted online last week that a Polish man in his 40s had contracted the virus after coming into contact with a previously confirmed virus patient and that he had completed the two-week mandatory quarantine.

Multiple Yongsan residents, however, left comments saying they had seen the man outdoors, prompting quarantine authorities’ investigation.

An online commenter claiming to be a neighbor wrote, “I saw him at a convenience store, a playground with children, out on the streets among other places, violating his quarantine.”

It added that neighbors contemplated reporting him and requested disinfection of the park and playground he frequently visited while walking his dog.

According to Korean newspaper Joongang Ilbo, Yongsan officials found surveillance footage showing the patient conducting outdoor activities, breaking his mandatory quarantine.

“An epidemiological survey is underway. ... It is quite difficult to communicate with him because he does not speak Korean,” a Yongsan District official told The Korea Herald.

On Sunday, the city of Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, disclosed that a British man in his 30s was also found to have violated quarantine rules. After getting tested for coronavirus, the man didn’t self-isolate and was found to have visited an indoor golf range, prompting the Justice Ministry to consider his deportation.

As of Sunday at 11:59 p.m., Korea had added 78 COVID-19 cases, of which 29 were imported from overseas, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The total number of virus patients here stood at 9,661 people with 158 deaths, the KCDC said.

With health officials keeping close tabs on overseas arrivals, passengers from Europe and the US are required to self-isolate at their home for 14 days. The measure is to be applied to all travelers, regardless of nationality, effective from Wednesday.

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)