South Korea is to implement stricter screening of foreigners with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis to prevent any inflow of the infectious disease, Korea Centers of Disease Control said Tuesday.
Effective Wednesday, a total of 16 countries, including Kazakhstan, Ukraine and South Africa, have been added to the list of high-risk countries for tuberculosis, which brings the number of countries in the category to 35, according to the KCDC.
Foreigners from high risk countries seeking a long-term visa are obligated to undergo testing for tuberculosis.
Those confirmed with the disease will not be issued a long-term visa until fully recovered, the KCDC said.
Foreign multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Korea rose by 19 people last year from the previous year, totaling 107.
“The strengthened screening of foreigners with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis will prevent the inflow of tuberculosis patients from overseas and contribute to management of foreigners with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Korea,” KCDC Director General Jeong Eun-kyeong and Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae jointly said in a statement.
Long-term visa issuance will also be limited for foreigners from risk countries staying here on a short-term visa who are found to have multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the process of transitioning to long-term authorization.
Foreigner multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients will undergo treatment at a hospital here and be directed to return home, the KCDC said.
By Kim Bo-gyung (firstname.lastname@example.org