Health Alert: The Republic of Korea (ROK) Raises Red Alert for Infectious Disease

CDC Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The ROK raised its infectious-disease alert to red, the highest level, after the number of COVID-19 cases increased over the past several days, especially around Daegu and the Gyeongbuk areas.  The red alert strengthens the coordination between the central government and local government to help contain the spread of the virus.  The ROK government has recommended special quarantine measures to Daegu area residents for the next two weeks.

As of 5:00pm on February 24, the Korea Center for Disease Control has confirmed 833 positive cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Korea, including 7 deaths. Authorities have confirmed that community-based transmission continues to occur in Korea.  The U.S. Embassy in Seoul is closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 in the ROK.

Before you travel to the ROK, visit the Korea Immigration Service website for the latest information on ROK entry restrictions.  The Korean government also posts daily updates on the response to COVID-19 at the website of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (in Korean only) and Korean Center for Disease Control (KCDC).

If you are currently in Korea and believe that you may have symptoms of COVID-19, please call the KCDC treatment hotline at 1339 or 1345 (English) to be directed to an appropriate facility.

Actions to Take:

  • Consult the CDC website, for the most up-to-date health information.
  • Check with the airlines regarding any flight cancellations and/or restrictions on flying.  Be aware that airline schedules are changing rapidly.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Seek medical care right away if you feel sick or were exposed to someone who has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.  In Korea, call 1345 to seek appropriate medical care for your situation.

Assistance:

  • Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) treatment hotline at 1339 or 1345 (English).
  • Online resources: WHO, CDC, and KCDC.

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