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(2nd LD) 79 countries restricting entry from S. Korea over coronavirus fears

All News 17:58 March 01, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, paras 1-3 with latest figures; ADDS Seoul's complaint over Vietnam's flight ban, latest figures in last 5 paras)

SEOUL, March 1 (Yonhap) -- Three countries have been added to the list of nations and regions imposing entry restrictions or stricter quarantine procedures on travelers from South Korea over coronavirus fears, the foreign ministry in Seoul said Sunday.

As of 10 a.m. Sunday, 79 countries have moved to bar the entry of people traveling from South Korea or to strengthen quarantine steps.

The ministry said Angola is now one of 36 countries to keep out South Koreans or foreigners who've recently visited South Korea. Angola's ban will take effect Tuesday.

Nigeria has joined the list of 43 countries that have imposed stricter quarantine measures, requiring travelers from South Korea to be quarantined for 14 days, with or without symptoms of the novel virus.

Countries across the Americas and Europe, plus provinces and cities in China, have already adopted tougher quarantine processes.

Seoul has pleaded with foreign countries to refrain from taking excessive entry restrictions against South Koreans.

In response to Vietnam's banning of a South Korean flight from landing at a Hanoi airport on Saturday, Seoul's foreign ministry summoned a top diplomat at the Vietnamese Embassy here to lodge a formal complaint.

"We filed a protest over the inconvenience caused by its short-notice change to the scheduled flight and demanded the country's preventive measures" a ministry official told reporters.

The Vietnamese authorities denied the Asiana Airlines flight permission to land in the capital, and instead instructed it to land at a more distant airport within 20 minutes of its departure, causing it to turn back and leading several other flights to be abruptly cancelled.

"Two empty flights flew there and brought back a total of 285 passengers earlier today who failed to return on Saturday," the official said, adding that no one is now waiting for flight to South Korea.

On Sunday, South Korea reported 586 additional cases of the virus, with the total number of infections reaching 3,736. The death toll stands at 18, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(2nd LD) 79 countries restricting entry from S. Korea over coronavirus fears - 1


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