South Korea - Coronavirus update

The UK P&I Club have received the below advice from our local correspondents, HS Corporation, regarding the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak and the affect on the region

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Current Status

On 20 January 2020, South Korea reported its first confirmed case of the new coronavirus when a Chinese resident who arrived at Incheon International Airport on 19 January tested positive for the virus as per notice by Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Subsequently, the second case was confirmed by the KCDC on 24 January, the third case on 26 January, and the fourth case was confirmed on 27 January.

Therefore, the Korean government has been ramping up screening and quarantine efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

On 27 January, the KCDC raised the alert level to orange (3rd highest out of 4 levels of national crisis alert levels) and is carrying out monitoring, testing for suspected cases, epidemiological investigations, and prevention and control measures.

To step up quarantine efforts, the government announced an entry ban as of 4 February for foreigners who visited or travelled through the Hubei Province in China in the past two weeks and if from China undergo strict quarantine screening under the entry ban.

Local Measures

Korea’s National Quarantine Station has sent notices to local shipowners and ship agents informing them of strengthened quarantine inspections for vessels arriving at Korean ports after calling at Chinese ports (excluding Hong Kong and Macau). Vessels that have called at Chinese ports within the past 14 days will be subject to stricter quarantine inspections. Before the outbreak of the virus, vessels underwent normal quarantine procedures by radio pratique message (RPM). However, from now onwards, if vessel is from (including via) Chinese ports, onboard quarantine inspections will be carried out by quarantine officers and the vessel’s crew and passengers must fill out and submit a health questionnaire as well as undergo temperature checks.  

We advise the Club’s Members to contact their local agents for more updated information (including on the Health Declaration Form and etc.) prior to calling at Korean ports in order to avoid possible delays. 

Meanwhile, port operations and surveyor attending are continuing without particular reporting up to this time except that crews on board vessels from China is recommended (not compulsory) to stay on board.

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Members can follow the latest developments on the outbreak by visiting the Club's dedicated resource page.