South Korea orders six Vietnamese deported for breaking quarantine rules

By Nguyen Quy   April 20, 2020 | 02:26 am PT
South Korea orders six Vietnamese deported for breaking quarantine rules
Women wearing masks to prevent contracting the coronavirus take a walk at a Han River park in Namyangju, South Korea, March 7, 2020. Photo by Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji.
South Korea will deport six Vietnamese citizens for violating self-quarantine policies, with the government taking a tough stance as a Covid-19 preventive measure.

The South Korean Justice Ministry said it has ordered three Vietnamese students and one Malaysian student in the southwestern city of Gunsan to leave the country Friday for breaking their two-week self isolation period to venture outside on April 3.

To avoid GPS tracking by authorities, they left their phones behind, but were caught after officials called their landline and got no answer.

The three Vietnamese students had tested negative for the Covid-19 virus after arriving in South Korea between March 28 and April 1, and authorities asked them to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days.

The ministry said it had issued a deportation order rather than forcing the violators to leave immediately, considering unstable flight schedules, the Yonhap news agency reported.

This means the students will have to leave the country as soon as flight schedules are resolved. Until then, they will remain under the custody of the immigration office.

Another three Vietnamese nationals – a married couple in the southeastern city of Gimhae who’d left their registered address in Seoul, and another person who went out fishing - have also received deportation orders for breaking quarantine guidelines. It was not clear if these Vietnamese citizens have left South Korea or not. 

All overseas arrivals to South Korea, including Korean nationals and foreigners alike – are required to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine starting April 1 as concerns rose over imported novel coronavirus infections.

Violators face fines of up to 10 million won ($8,186) or up to one year in jail.

Vietnam’s Foreign Affairs Ministry estimates around 200,000 Vietnamese nationals live in South Korea. Of these, thousands, mostly students, have flown back to Vietnam since February after South Korea became one of the countries hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country has reported more than 10,000 infection cases and 236 deaths.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has recorded no new infections for the last four days.

Of the 268 patients diagnosed in Vietnam so far, 61 are still active and the remaining 207 have been discharged. No deaths have been recorded to date.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 210 countries and territories, with more than 165,000 deaths reported so far.

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