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South Korea imposes jail time for breaking coronavirus quarantine

Legislature also passes travel ban and export controls amid surge in patients

Workers in protective gear sanitize a market in Seoul. South Korea has seen patient numbers skyrocket recently.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korea is now threatening prison time for possible coronavirus patients that break quarantine, as the government toughens its approach to curb the rapidly growing outbreak in the country.

South Korea's National Assembly on Wednesday passed legislation to help combat the outbreak. Suspected patients who deliberately break quarantine now face up to a year in prison or up to a 10 million won ($8,200) fine. The government can also restrict exports of masks and disinfectant in case of a shortage at home.

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