More than 370,000 South Koreans participated in the Cheong Wa Dae petition post that requests a temporary entry ban on people from China as confirmed cases and deaths from the new coronavirus increase.
The petition posted nearly doubled the requirement on Thursday, which needs 200,000 or more participants to receive the official answer from the presidential office.
“As the new coronavirus is widely spreading, we should temporarily prohibit the entrance of people from China at least during the Spring Festival (China’s biggest holiday). North Korea has also banned it,” the petitioners said. “It will be too late to act after the new coronavirus land in South Korea, so we need a preemptive action.”
President Moon Jae-in issued a message to people saying, “The government is on a 24-hour alert to contain the new infection’s spread.” Moon also told the health authorities to make encouraging calls to two hospitals taking care of the nation’s second and third confirmed patients – Incheon Medical Center and Myeongji Hospital in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.
With the third confirmed case in the nation, the government is strengthening its response toward the new coronavirus.
On Saturday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) expanded the monitoring region concerned with the new coronavirus from Wuhan to entire China. Thus, every visitor from China must submit a health status inquiry. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also raised the travel alert from the second phase (highly cautious) to the third phase (recommended withdrawal) from Hubei Province.
The third confirmed is a 54-year-old Korean man who stayed in Wuhan, China. He entered South Korea on Monday and called the KCDC on Saturday. He is now under quarantine at Myongji Hospital in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.
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