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Hundreds referred to prosecution on coronavirus-related charges

All News 12:00 July 14, 2020

SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean police have referred 545 people to the prosecution seeking indictment on charges of violating rules related to the new coronavirus since late February, the National Police Agency said Tuesday. Of them, 10 suspects were arrested.

A total of 1,207 people had been investigated for allegedly flouting the infectious disease control act as of Monday. Investigation is underway for 606 people while 56 people have been forwarded to the prosecution with non-indictment recommended, the agency said.

By charge, 506 people have been investigated for allegedly violating self-isolation rules. Of them, 317 have been referred to the prosecution for indictment, including seven arrested, and 158 are still being investigated.

"These cases include going to work, visiting restaurants or karaoke rooms during the periods of self-isolation, and inviting acquaintances to isolation sites to eat and drink together," an official of the agency said.

Minor violations, such as going out alone by driving their own car or taking a walk alone near home while in self-isolation, are also subject to punishment, the agency said.

Police probed 530 people on charges of breaching the prohibition of gatherings. Of them 131 have been sent to the prosecution for indictment and 389 are being investigated.

Health authorities have banned some high-risk venues, such as bars, karaoke rooms and door-to-door sales businesses, or ordered such facilities to implement strict disease prevention measures. Those who continue operations of banned facilities or enter such venues are subject to punishment.

Forty-six people have been probed for allegedly obstructing epidemiological surveys, including by lying about places they visited. Of them, 18 have been referred to the prosecution for indictment, including three arrested. Investigation is underway for 23.

This May 8, 2020, photo shows a nightclub in Itaewon, Seoul, shut down after coronavirus cases were confirmed among patrons of bars and clubs in the popular nightlife district. (Yonhap)


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