S.Korea to extend quarantine mandate for Covid patients

by IANS |

Seoul, June 17 (IANS) The South Korean government will extend the current seven-day quarantine mandate for Covid-19 patients for four more weeks because rolling back the obligation could accelerate a resurgence of the virus, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said on Friday.

The current level of virus spread is within the country's capacity to manage, but infection concerns linger and the number of Covid-19 deaths has not sufficiently reduced, Han said in a virus response meeting.

"If the quarantine obligation is eased, the timing of resurgence can be brought forward and the scale of damage can be expanded," Yonhap News Agency quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

The government plans to reassess the infection situation every four weeks and will decide whether to lift the quarantine mandate for Covid-19 patients, he said.

As part of the government's steps toward pre-pandemic normalcy, the government will ease restrictions on nursing homes and other facilities for elderly people.

So far, only fully vaccinated people have been allowed to visit their parents or relatives at such facilities.

But, the government will allow in-person meetings at the facilities regardless of vaccination status, according to the Prime Minister.

Elderly people who have received a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to freely leave the facilities, he added.

Han said the nation's Covid-19 situation has continued to stabilize, but "it is not completely out of danger. Even if the restrictions are lifted, please follow the containment rules thoroughly with the mind that you will protect yourself from Covid-19".

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