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South Korea exports wristband trackers for quarantine violators

SEOUL (May 20): South Korea said Wednesday it has begun shipping location-tracking wristbands currently used on people violating self-quarantine orders here amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The country inked a deal valued at 980 million won (RM3.47 million) with Saudi Arabia to sell some 100,000 units of the wristbands, according to the country's health authorities.

Yonhap News Agency (Yonhap) reported that the first batch of 50,000 bands has already been shipped. South Korea is under talks with at least three more countries to export the wristbands, they added.

South Korea has been using electronic wristbands equipped with a location-tracking system on people who violate self-isolation rules since late April. Nearly 50 people have been ordered to wear the bands here.

Amid rising controversies over privacy, the violators in South Korea currently have a choice between wearing the bands or being quarantined at state-designated facilities.

According to Yonhap, health authorities said the exports of the wristbands will pave the way for the country to form a deeper connection with the rest of the world to fight the global pandemic that has infected at least 4.8 million around the globe.

Seoul has recently earned global recognition for its swift virus response system, including drive-thru testing and advanced diagnostic kits.

Despite a slight uptick in new virus cases due to patients linked to clubs in Seoul's nightlife district of Itaewon, South Korea is still considered one of the most successful countries in containing the virus pandemic.

The country, which reported its first infection from a Chinese person on Jan 20, has reported a total of 11,110 Covid-19 cases, with its death toll hitting 263.

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