Taiwan drops South Korea from list of medium-risk countries

Business travelers from South Korea need to undergo full 14-day quarantine

Officials disinfect Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea.

Officials disinfect Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In the wake of a new wave of local cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in South Korea, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has removed the country from its list of medium-risk countries/regions, meaning that South Korean business people must now undergo the full 14-day quarantine when visiting Taiwan.

During his weekly press conference on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 26), Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that because of the upward trend of local coronavirus cases in South Korea over the past two weeks, it will be removed from the list of medium-risk countries/regions. Since June 22, business travelers who visit Taiwan from low-risk countries/regions are only required to undergo five days of quarantine, while those from medium-risk countries/regions only need a seven-day quarantine.

The CECC stated that the epidemic situation in South Korea has rapidly worsened in the past two weeks. The new outbreak emerged from churches and related gatherings in the Seoul metropolitan region and has spread to workplaces, restaurants, daycare centers, and fitness centers in many parts of the country.

South Korean authorities have determined that the outbreak has not reached its peak and that there is a risk of a nationwide epidemic. Given the current situation in South Korea, the CECC has decided to remove the country from its medium-risk list.

South Korea saw 320 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday (Aug. 26) alone, bringing its number of confirmed cases to 18,265. Its total number of deaths has risen to 312.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's cases have steadily declined over the past four weeks, and the majority are imported from abroad. Therefore, the CECC has moved Sri Lanka from the medium-risk to low-risk list.

In addition, the center has added Nauru, East Timor, and Mauritius to its list of low-risk countries.

Low-risk countries/regions:

New Zealand, Macau, Palau, Fiji, Brunei, Thailand, Mongolia, Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nauru, East Timor, and Mauritius.

Medium-risk countries/regions:

Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.