SEOUL, April 30 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea could raise the travel alert for India amid a massive spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, the foreign ministry said Friday.
The ministry is considering raising the alert by one notch to “red,” recommending South Koreans leave India unless there are essential reasons, officials said.
“We are closely watching the situation in India and reviewing measures and what we can do,” an official said when asked about the possibility of raising the travel advisory.
The government has only issued the red warning once over coronavirus fears so far — for China’s Hubei province where the city of Wuhan, the original epicenter of the disease, is located. The measure was in effect from January to August.
The ministry is also in talks with Indian officials and local air carriers about whether to increase non-regular flights to help South Koreans staying in India to return home, the official said.
Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc., the country’s two biggest carriers, plan to provide one flight and four flights, respectively, next month to the South Asian country, to bring back Koreans there. India has reported more than 200,000 coronavirus deaths.
Currently, nearly 130 out of about 10,000 South Koreans staying in the virus-hit country have contracted COVID-19 so far, but the actual number of infections could be higher as the official count represents those collected by the diplomatic missions, the official said.
Meanwhile, the ministry said 14 medical oxygen generators requested by a South Korean residents association in India arrived in New Delhi via a diplomatic pouch.
Another three oxygen generators will be sent to the Chennai and Mumbai areas next week at the request of local Korean residents associations.