SEOUL/ASAN, Feb. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – Hundreds of South Korean evacuees from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan arrived at temporary accommodation in Asan, south of Seoul, on Saturday, hours after their arrival in the country from the epicenter of the new virus strain.
A total of 326 people from Wuhan and its vicinity were put under a 14-day quarantine program at the Police Human Resources Development Institute in the city, about 90 kilometers south of the capital.
They were among 333 citizens aboard the country’s second and last evacuation chartered flight that arrived at Gimpo International Airport in the morning.
Of the 333 people, seven were sent to a state hospital due to signs of fever and other possible symptoms of the contagious disease.
A day earlier, the first evacuation plane brought home 368 South Korean nationals from Wuhan. Of them, 200 are currently staying at the Asan facility.
A total of 526 people will have to stay in their designated rooms at the Asan facility. Military doctors and nurses, along with workers from the National Medical Center, will monitor their health conditions.
Those aged 12 or older will use a single room each, while those under 12 can share their rooms with their parents.
The evacuees are not allowed to meet one another even inside the institute, while those from outside the facility will not be granted any access into it.
Should they show any signs of high fever, cough or other symptoms, they will immediately be sent to nearby medical facilities.
To prepare against potential protests from residents who opposed the arrival of the evacuees, police dispatched about 500 officers near the institute. But no incident occurred.
Some residents initially were angry at the government’s decision to house the evacuees at the institute that came without their consent. But they later showed their support, with some holding up handwritten banners embracing the evacuees.
Some posted social media messages welcoming the evacuees, saying, “We are Asan.”
Residents near another quarantine shelter in Jincheon, south of Seoul, also showed their willingness to embrace those from Wuhan, saying, “We are Jincheon,” in their social media posts.
The evacuees from China will be released if they show no symptoms of the disease after the two-week isolation program.
South Korea has so far reported 12 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus.
Reports said that since the virus first emerged in Wuhan, central China, in December, the death toll in China alone has risen to 259. The number of infections in China stands at 11,791.