The South Korean government says it is flying its nationals back home on board 4 chartered flights from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the origin of the deadly coronavirus, which is currently under complete lockdown.
"The government will take active steps by sending chartered planes to Wuhan for two days on January 30th and 31st for Korean nationals wanting to return home."
According to the plan, during the two-day period, almost 7-hundred Koreans will be flown back home.
That decision, the foreign ministry said, is part of the government's responsibility to protect the lives and the safety of Korean nationals no matter where they are.
Preparations are also in place for when those people arrive.
They'll go through a detailed inspection and will also be monitored in an isolated facility.
"According to related statutes, in order to stop the possible spread of any coronavirus in the country, those arriving from Wuhan will be put in a governmental protected living facility for a certain period of time.
A full-scale inspection began this Tuesday on all those who've entered the country from Wuhan from January 13th to the 23rd some 3-thousand of them in view of the virus's incubation period of up to 2 weeks.
Presidential office said the government will do thorough health checks on all such people regardless of whether or not they've been showing symptoms.
Earlier in the day, President Moon Jae-in went to the National Medical Center in Seoul to check the response system himself, and urged officials to take pre-emptive measures even if they may seem excessive.
He also ordered the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stretch its workforce at the government hotline "1339" for those who show symptoms of the disease.
"In addition to protecting Korean nationals, the government will be sending China relief supplies, including some 2 million face masks, on board the chartered flights, promising to help stop the epidemic together with the Chinese government.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News."