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(LEAD) Moon appreciates quarantine workers' service at Incheon airport

All News 16:17 April 07, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with press statement from 4th para)

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in visited Incheon International Airport on Tuesday for a meeting with quarantine workers fighting the coronavirus on World Health Day, according to his Facebook message.

He expressed gratitude to them for their dedicated service at the main gateway of South Korea, the front line of the country's fight against COVID-19. It is located an hour's drive west of Seoul.

"Thank you, and thank you again," Moon wrote, praising them for working "day and night" to block the inflow of infections from abroad.

The president toured a quarantine station at the airport, where its full-time quarantine officials work along with supporting staff dispatched from the defense, health and justice ministries and local governments.

He pointed out that the portion of infections from foreign countries is on the rise.

South Korea reported 47 additional COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, with 14 of them confirmed in the airport quarantine process.

"Your role has become more important," he said, according to Cheong Wa Dae's deputy spokesman Yoon Jae-kwan. "The Incheon airport is a place to show our nation's quarantine system most symbolically."

Confidence in the ability to control the virus inflow completely is behind the government's decision to focus on quarantine steps without closing the border, Moon was quoted as saying. He expressed hope that South Korea will become the first country to terminate COVID-19.

On his Facebook account, meanwhile, Moon recognized the efforts of nurses. "They are devoting themselves at medical service sites with no special attention being paid to them," he wrote.

President Moon Jae-in (R) talks with a quarantine official at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on April 7, 2020, in this photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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