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S. Korea considers electronic wristbands to stop self-quarantined people breaking rules

A location-tracking wristband put on self-quarantined people in Hong Kong. South Korea is considering the same measure to ensure tight monitoring of people in self-isolation. Gettyimage
A location-tracking wristband put on self-quarantined people in Hong Kong. South Korea is considering the same measure to ensure tight monitoring of people in self-isolation. Gettyimage

South Korea is considering using electronic wristbands to prevent people in self-isolation from going outside, an official said Tuesday, amid growing concerns over those breaching the rules and spreading the coronavirus.

"A majority of people are following self-isolation (rules), but there have been some cases of (people) leaving (designated venues)," Yoon Tae-ho, a senior health ministry official, told reporters.

"If the self-isolation rules are not kept, this would put the government in a position to consider various measures to prevent such a move," Yoon said, citing the wristbands as a potential option.

But the official acknowledged the opposition to electronic wristbands, saying the focus would be on finding an effective way in line with quarantine guidelines.

The remarks came amid concerns over those potentially infected with COVID-19 leaving self-isolation venues and spreading the virus in local communities.

The government runs a mobile app to monitor people in self-isolation, but there have been cases where people left their phones at home or turned off the GPS function.

Law authorities have found 75 people who have breached self-isolation rules. Six of the cases have been transferred to the prosecution for further probe.

South Korea mandated a two-week self-isolation for all international arrivals starting Wednesday, April 1.

Some 46,566 people, including more than 36,000 international arrivals, are in self-isolation. The figure is expected to grow to more than 80,000.

Starting Sunday, the government also heightened measures against people who violate the two-week isolation or give false information during the quarantine process to a maximum one-year jail term or a 10 million won ($8,172) fine.

South Korea announced 47 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, bringing the country's total infections to 10,331. (Yonhap)


A location-tracking wristband put on self-quarantined people in Hong Kong. South Korea is considering the same measure to ensure tight monitoring of people in self-isolation. Gettyimage
A location-tracking wristband put on self-quarantined people in Hong Kong. South Korea is considering the same measure to ensure tight monitoring of people in self-isolation. Gettyimage

South Korea is considering using electronic wristbands to prevent people in self-isolation from going outside, an official said Tuesday, amid growing concerns over those breaching the rules and spreading the coronavirus.

"A majority of people are following self-isolation (rules), but there have been some cases of (people) leaving (designated venues)," Yoon Tae-ho, a senior health ministry official, told reporters.

"If the self-isolation rules are not kept, this would put the government in a position to consider various measures to prevent such a move," Yoon said, citing the wristbands as a potential option.

But the official acknowledged the opposition to electronic wristbands, saying the focus would be on finding an effective way in line with quarantine guidelines.

The remarks came amid concerns over those potentially infected with COVID-19 leaving self-isolation venues and spreading the virus in local communities.

The government runs a mobile app to monitor people in self-isolation, but there have been cases where people left their phones at home or turned off the GPS function.

Law authorities have found 75 people who have breached self-isolation rules. Six of the cases have been transferred to the prosecution for further probe.

South Korea mandated a two-week self-isolation for all international arrivals starting Wednesday, April 1.

Some 46,566 people, including more than 36,000 international arrivals, are in self-isolation. The figure is expected to grow to more than 80,000.

Starting Sunday, the government also heightened measures against people who violate the two-week isolation or give false information during the quarantine process to a maximum one-year jail term or a 10 million won ($8,172) fine.

South Korea announced 47 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, bringing the country's total infections to 10,331. (Yonhap)




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