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Foreign ministry considering raising travel alert for India amid virus surges

Health workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE kit) attends to COVID-19 coronavirus positive patients inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a covid care centre in New Delhi on Thursday. (AFP-Yonhap)
Health workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE kit) attends to COVID-19 coronavirus positive patients inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a covid care centre in New Delhi on Thursday. (AFP-Yonhap)
The foreign ministry said Friday it is considering raising the travel alert for India amid a massive spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The ministry is considering raising the alert by one notch to "red," recommending South Koreans leave India unless there are essential reasons, officials said.

"We are closely watching the situation in India and reviewing measures and what we can do," an official said when asked about the possibility of raising the travel advisory.

The government has only issued the red warning once over coronavirus fears so far -- for China's Hubei province where the city of Wuhan, the original epicenter of the disease, is located. The measure was in effect from January to August.

The ministry is also in talks with Indian officials and local air carriers about whether to increase non-regular flights to help South Koreans staying in India to return home, the official said.

Currently, nearly 130 out of about 10,000 South Koreans staying in the virus-hit country have contracted COVID-19 so far, but the actual number of infections could be higher as the official count represents those collected by the diplomatic missions, the official said. (Yonhap)

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