Hong Kong will reportedly seal borders as of February 25 to all arrivals from South Korea except its returning citizens in response to the novel Coronavirus outbreak, the territory's security chief confirmed.
John Lee, the security chief for Hong kong told the media that considering the epidemic and soaring confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in South Korea, the Security Bureau will issue a red travel alert. He said that the notice would imply that anyone who resided in South Korea in the last fortnight will be denied entry to the international finance hub.
He further added that residents who will return will have to undergo a fortnight of medical surveillance. According to the reports, South Korea has confirmed over 800 cases of the novel coronavirus and is by far the largest national to confirm huge figures outside mainland China. Hong Kong has 79 confirmed cases, and has reported two fatalities, confirmed reports.
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Hong Kong implements compulsory quarantine
According to the reports, Hong Kong has implemented compulsory quarantine for citizens returning from mainland China, in order to stem the further spread of the disease. This kind of a travel ban has been imposed for the first time by Hong Kong against a country beyond China, suggest reports.
Hong Kong's government told the media that it would dispatch the chartered planes to China to evacuate its residents from Wuhan City, Hubei province, where the outbreak originated. Reports confirmed that hundreds of Hong Kong citizens were still stranded in mainland China and urged the government for emergency evacuation.
The officials in Hong Kong told the media that it would prioritize the evacuation efforts to make it smooth and effective, to prevent any further spread of the virus via transmission. It said that the most vulnerable, such as pregnant women and elderly suffering from chronic illness will be airlifted first.
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(With Agency inputs)