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South Korean workers spray disinfectant in a street in Seoul. Photo: EPA-EFE

Indonesian man breaks wall to escape from South Korean quarantine facility

  • Authorities suspect the man, who had entered the country on a ship crew visa, intended to illegally stay in South Korea
  • The seaman broke through a wall one day before he was due to complete the full 14 days of isolation
An Indonesian seaman bust out of a South Korean quarantine facility by breaking through a wall a day before he was due to complete a mandatory two weeks in isolation, a health official said on Wednesday.
“The person had tested negative for coronavirus and showed no symptoms during the isolation period,” health ministry spokesman Son Young-rae told reporters.
Authorities suspected the man, who had entered the country on a ship crew visa, intended to illegally stay in South Korea, as there had been several similar incidents involving Vietnamese nationals in recent month, officials said.

South Korean minister apologises as husband goes on yacht-buying trip to US

Every person arriving in South Korea from overseas is required to undergo two weeks of isolation to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus regardless of whether they have Covid-19 symptoms.

In March, the country’s health ministry warned it would deport foreigners and South Korean citizens could face jail for violating self-quarantine rules after a surge in imported coronavirus cases.

The number of Indonesian nationals working in South Korea doubled from 3,719 in 2017 to 6,921 in 2018, the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers Agency revealed last year. Many work in the manufacturing and fishery sectors.

A family wearing face masks walk through Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul. Photo: EPA-EFE

South Korea on Wednesday reported 114 new cases of the coronavirus, its first daily jump of over 100 in a week.

Health officials had raised concerns that infections would rise because of increased travel during the five-day Chuseok harvest holiday that ended on Sunday.

The figures released by health officials Wednesday brought South Korea’s case total to 24,353 for the pandemic, including 425 deaths.

Of the newly confirmed cases, 92 were in the Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the centre of a viral resurgence since mid-August.

Health officials have been struggling to track transmissions linked to various places, including hospitals, churches, restaurants and an army unit in Pocheon, north of Seoul, where 37 soldiers so far have tested positive.