Revision bills in Korea relating to epidemic prevention 

The Korean National Assembly revised three legal acts (Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act, Quarantine Act, Medical Services Act).

The Government can restrict exports of medicine & medical equipment, fine suspected patients who don't abide to quarantine orders, and ban the entry of foreigners coming into Korea from a country hit by an epidemics of infectious diseases. 

The revised acts will allow the authorities to fine suspected infected patients who refuse testing up to 3 million won; and patients who do not abide by quarantine or hospitalization orders up to 10 million won, or impose a prison sentence on them of up to 1 year.

The revisions will also allow the government to restrict exports of medicine, medical equipment and other key materials necessary for quarantine and treatment, such as facial masks and hand sanitizers, if there is a national shortage or price-gouging due to an epidemic.

Under the changes, the health ministry will also be able to request the justice ministry to ban the entry of foreigners coming into Korea from a country where an infectious disease has reached epidemic proportions. Medical staff or institutions will also be legally obliged to report to local governments or regional public health centers when they discover patients with suspected infectious diseases during treatment.

While revisions usually take effect several months after passage, some of the changes approved Wednesday will come into effect immediately at the request of Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo.

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