Home All Blog Posts Travelers From South Korea Being Monitored

Travelers From South Korea Being Monitored

[Written by Don Burgess]

Bermuda is monitoring passengers who have been to South Korea as a check against the coronavirus.

There has been a sharp uptick in the number of cases of COVID-19, the official name of the disease. As of Wednesday morning [February 26], South Korea has the second-most cases of COVID-19 in the world, with 1,261 identified and 12 deaths.

When asked if Bermuda is considering screening passengers who have been in South Korea, a Government health spokesperson told Bernews, “We currently request monitoring for this category of travellers.”

The U.S. Center for Disease Control [CDC] has issued a Warning Level 3 and recommending people to avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea.

While China still has far and away the most significant number of identifiable COVID-19 cases [78073] and deaths [2,715], the outbreak has slowed and subsided there over the past ten days.

But the bad news is that the number of countries affected has jumped from 25 to 43 in that same span with significant outbreaks in South Korea, Italy, and Iran. Italy and Iran have been the source of spreading the disease to neighbouring countries.

Yesterday, the CDC added both Italy and Iran to Alert Level 2 and suggested people take enhanced precautions when travelling to these countries. In particular, older adults with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.

The Bermuda Health Ministry spokesperson said, “As countries are added to the risk assessment and public health monitoring lists of the World Health Organization [WHO], Public Health England, or CDC, Bermuda takes note and considers whether it is appropriate to include these countries on our own list.”

The spokesperson added that the Government is taking the COVID-19 outbreak seriously, with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit [ESU] meeting daily. In addition, the Public Health Emergency Response Team [PHERT] is meeting either weekly or twice weekly.”

The spokesperson urged the public to check the Government’s website and social media pages as these are continually being updated. Also, “press statements are issued weekly or immediately as information is received.”

Also, the Ministry of Health has weekly calls with Public Health England. The Caribbean Public Health Agency [CARPHA] and the Pan American Health Organization [PAHO] also regularly provide guidance and are accessible as needed.

The spokesperson added that the Health Ministry is following the CDC’s guideline of self-quarantine for people suspected of having low risk but that “Surveillance and management guidance are evolving rapidly so this process is subject to change.”