South Korea shares eye-opening Covid statistics to defend its new rules for travelers from China – CNBC

by | Jan 10, 2023 | COVID-19

South Korea on Tuesday hit back at claims that its Covid rules for Chinese travelers are “discriminatory,” saying more than half of its imported cases are coming from China.In a response to CNBC, Seung-ho Choi, a deputy director at the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said that up to 80% of “imported confirmed cases” in South Korea are coming from China.Choi said the number of people traveling from China who tested positive for Covid-19 went up 14 times from November to December.Choi also said that its policies cover “all Korean nationals and non-Korean nationals coming from China. This is not confined only to Chinese people. There is no discrimination for nationality in this measure.”Citing South Korea’s proximity to China, Choi said a surge in infections in China could put South Korea at risk.”China’s COVID-19 situation is still worsening …which has created the possibility of new variants to be detected,” he said.The omicron variant swept China in December, after authorities relaxed stringent contact tracing requirements that had forced many people to stay close to their homes for nearly three years. As of Jan. 8, Beijing formally relaxed its international border controls, opening the door to more travel in and out of the country.It’s unlikely that a dangerous new Covid variant is spreading in China, Dr. Chris Murray, Seattle-based director of a health research center at the University of Washington, told CNBC in late December. China halts visasMore than a dozen countries have announced new rules for travelers departing from China. Most are requiring travelers departing from China to test negative for Covid before arriving — the same requirement China has for international travelers to the mainland.But South Korea and Japan — two top destinations for Chinese travelers — said they are not increasing flights in response to China’s border reopening. South Korea also announced plans to limit short-term visas to travelers from China.China’s embassies in South Korea and Japan announced Tuesday that they would stop issuing visas to “Korean nationals” and “Japanese citizens.”Thai officials welcome Chinese passengers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on Jan. 9, 2023.Rachen Sageamsak | Xinhua News Ag …

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