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First group of Wuhan evacuees arrive, placed in quarantine

18 of the passengers isolated for observation, treatment

A South Korean chartered plane carrying evacuees from Wuhan, China, taxis after landing at Gimpo International Airport on Friday. Yonhap
A South Korean chartered plane carrying evacuees from Wuhan, China, taxis after landing at Gimpo International Airport on Friday. Yonhap

The first group of Koreans evacuated from Wuhan, China, arrived in Korea on Friday.

The flight carrying 368 Koreans out of the Chinese city at the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak arrived at Gimpo International Airport just before 8 a.m.

One person was barred from boarding the flight in Wuhan after symptoms were detected.

At Gimpo, passengers were screened for symptoms associated with the coronavirus infection. Of these, 14 people were sent to the National Medical Center and four to a university hospital.

The 350 people who did not show any symptoms were transported to quarantine facilities where they will stay for 14 days. Two hundred of the arrivals arrived at the quarantine facility in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, and the remaining have been sent to a facility in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province.

During their stay at the facilities, they will be checked by medical staff twice a day and will not be allowed any contact with the outside. Individuals housed at the facilities will also be required to wear N95 masks when outside their rooms.

The evacuees entered the facilities without incident, with the residents of the two cities having called off their demonstrations. They had protested the decision to house those returning from Wuhan.

Some 350 Koreans still remain in Wuhan, waiting to be evacuated by the Korean government. The second flight is scheduled to head to Wuhan later in the day.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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