South Korea on Monday escalated its health warning to a level three or 'emergency,' up one notch from the previous 'caution' as the deadly coronavirus outbreak that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan continues to spread around the world with the Seoul government confirming its fourth case earlier in the day in a 55-year-old Korean man who had recently visited the city of Wuhan.
"The infection of the new coronavirus has expanded to all parts of China and there is a growing possibility of the virus spreading across local communities in South Korea.
The government, therefore, has escalated the infectious disease alert by one notch to 'emergency' level."
In efforts to contain the virus, the South Korean government is imposing tougher screening measures at major international airports and more strict quarantine standards starting Tuesday.
Those who have visited China's Hubei Province in the last two weeks and show symptoms such as fever or respiratory problems will now be classified "suspected" and will be placed under quarantine.
So far, these measures had been limited to those who had traveled to Wuhan and showed pneumnia symptoms.
Under the toughened controls, the South Korean government has the right to classify anyone entering the country from any part of China showing symptoms of pneumonia as "patient under investigation" and place them in isolation.
Those who show mild symptoms will also be actively monitored by health authorities.
Seoul's defense ministry said on Monday that it will mobilize some one-hundred military doctors, nurses, soldiers and dispatch them to 21 seaports and airports across the country in order to help carry out these measures.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.