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(LEAD) Gov't to extend quarantine mandate for COVID-19 patients for 4 more weeks: PM

Politics 09:58 June 17, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS details in last 5 paras, photo)
By Kim Deok-hyun

SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- The government will extend the current seven-day quarantine mandate for COVID-19 patients for four more weeks because rolling back the obligation could accelerate a resurgence of the virus, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Friday.

The current level of virus spread is within the country's capacity to manage, but infection concerns linger and the number of COVID-19 deaths has not sufficiently reduced, Han said in a virus response meeting.

"If the quarantine obligation is eased, the timing of resurgence can be brought forward and the scale of damage can be expanded," Han said.

The government plans to reassess the infection situation every four weeks and will decide whether to lift the quarantine mandate for COVID-19 patients, Han said.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo presides over a virus response meeting on June 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo presides over a virus response meeting on June 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

As part of the government's steps toward pre-pandemic normalcy, the government will ease restrictions on nursing homes and other facilities for elderly people, Han said.

So far, only fully vaccinated people have been allowed to visit their parents or relatives at such facilities.

But, the government will allow in-person meetings at the facilities regardless of vaccination status, Han said.

Elderly people who have received a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to freely leave the facilities, Han said.

Han said the nation's COVID-19 situation has continued to stabilize, but "it is not completely out of danger. Even if the restrictions are lifted, please follow the containment rules thoroughly with the mind that you will protect yourself from COVID-19."


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