South Korean jailed for breaking quarantine, Indonesia deploys troops

HONG KONG (AFP) – A South Korean man was jailed for four months for breaking coronavirus quarantine rules, authorities said, in the country’s first such prison sentence.

The man, 27, left home while under 14-day self-isolation and was then moved to a quarantine facility, which he also left without permission. South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the virus, but appears to have largely brought the spread under control thanks to an extensive “trace, test and treat” programme.

Meanwhile, Vietnam will resume issuing e-visas to citizens from 80 countries from July 1, the government said on Tuesday, though it was unclear whether quarantine measures would be lifted.

The country imposed a blanket ban on foreigners entering the country in March as part of its aggressive response to the pandemic, which has also involved mass quarantines and expansive contact tracing. So far, Vietnam has not reported any coronavirus deaths.

Indonesia said on Tuesday it is deploying 340,000 troops to clamp down on rampant social-distancing violations as coronavirus infections surge in the world’s fourth most populous country.

The military will be on the ground in two dozen cities – including the capital Jakarta – to make sure people wear masks and stay apart, as the government eyes a possible re-opening of shuttered businesses.

Thailand’s state of emergency laws have been extended for another month until the end of June, despite the kingdom reporting a relatively low virus toll at just over 3,000 cases and 57 deaths.

Malls and restaurants reopened on May 17 with social distancing rules in place, and now commuters have started packing into Bangkok’s public sky train during rush hour.