South Korea to tighten Covid-19 rules aboard passenger planes


South Korea is toughening Covid-19 rules aboard passenger planes starting August 9 over a rise in daily infections at home and abroad, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said on Thursday.

The ministry ordered for plane cabins to be sanitized more than once a day for domestic flights, and after every flight for internationals.

In addition, passengers will be forbidden to exchange seats and travel without a mask, and are recommended not to speak. Those who refuse to wear a mask can be held criminally liable.

People with Covid-19 symptoms will be isolated. Catering aboard domestic flights will include only drinks for elderly people and children. On international flights, only snacks and drinks will be served.

The ministry noted that no cases of contracting the virus aboard aircraft have been recorded so far, but given the global and domestic rise in infections, it was decided to tighten the measures. Currently, South Korea is registering 1,000 to 2,000 coronavirus cases daily.

The US authorities have reported a 43 percent increase in the number of new coronavirus cases, hospital admissions and deaths over the past seven days, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said on Thursday.

“Yesterday, CDC reported 103,445 new cases of Covid-19. Our seven day average is about 89,463 cases per day.

This represents an increase of 43 percent from the prior seven day average,” Walensky said during a press briefing.

Walensky said the seven-day average of hospital admissions is about 7348 per day, an increase of about 41 percent from the prior seven day period.

“And seven day average of daily deaths have also increased to 381 per day, an increase of more than 39 percent from the previous seven day period,” she said.—Reuters

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