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S. Korean evacuees arrive at Asan makeshift shelter

All News 12:07 February 01, 2020

SEOUL/ASAN, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) -- Hundreds of South Korean evacuees from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan arrived in a makeshift shelter in Asan, south of Seoul, on Saturday, hours after their arrival from the epicenter of the deadly virus.

A total of 326 people from Wuhan and its vicinity were put under a 14-day quarantine program at the Police Human Resources Development Institute in the city, about 90 kilometers south of the capital.

They were among 333 citizens aboard the country's second and last evacuation chartered flight that arrived at Gimpo International Airport in the morning. Of the 333 people, seven were sent to a state hospital due to signs of fever and other possible symptoms of the contagious disease.

A bus carrying South Korean evacuees from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan enters the Police Human Resources Development Institute, a makeshift shelter in Asan, about 90 kilometers south of Seoul, on Feb. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)

A day earlier, the first evacuation plane brought home 368 South Korean nationals from Wuhan. Of them, 200 are currently staying at the Asan facility.

To prepare against potential protests from residents who opposed the arrival of the evacuees, police dispatched about 500 officers near the institute. But no incident occurred.

Some residents initially were angry at the government's decision to house the evacuees at the institute that came without their consent. But they later showed their support, with some holding up handwritten banners embracing the evacuees.

The evacuees from China will be released if they show no symptoms of the disease after the two-week isolation program.

Reports said that since the virus first emerged in Wuhan, central China, in December, the death toll in China alone has risen to 259. The number of infections in China stands at 11,791.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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