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More Russian sailors infected, total virus cases swell to 91

All News 10:47 July 29, 2020

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- More Russian seafarers were confirmed to have been infected with the new coronavirus, with the number of related cases rising to 91 in total, health authorities said Wednesday.

According to the authorities, 12 more cases were reported from a Russian ship docked in the southeastern port city of Busan, raising the total caseload tied to the vessel to 44 since 32 Russian sailors were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 on Friday. The vessel carried 94 crewmembers.

In addition, one Russian sailor aboard a cargo ship docked in Incheon, west of Seoul, also tested positive for the virus.

This photo, taken on July 24, 2020, shows Russian sailors disembarking from a ship docked in South Korea's southeastern port city of Busan as they tested positive for the coronavirus. (Yonhap)

Carrying 20 crewmembers, the 6,800-ton cargo vessel departed from Vladivostok on July 21 and entered the Incheon port on Sunday. Nineteen other sailors tested negative for the virus.

Infections traced to Russia ships have become a new source of cluster infections here since last month, with 19 virus cases tied to two Russia-flagged vessels docked in Busan reported.

With the newly identified cases, South Korea has detected a total of 91 virus cases from nine Russian ships docked here since June.

South Korea is considering adding Russia to a list of countries requiring stronger quarantine checks as cluster infections on Russian ships have continued to swell.

The government has placed six countries -- Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and Uzbekistan -- on the list of such high-risk countries in an effort to contain imported cases.

Arrivals from the countries are required to submit a certificate showing they tested negative for the new coronavirus.

Since late June, South Korea has been conducting on-board quarantine checks of Russian ships arriving in Busan ports.


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