(Provided by the South Korean Embassy in Dhaka-Yonhap)
Some 30,000 South Koreans living abroad have returned home amid the new coronavirus pandemic, a presidential official said Sunday.
As of Friday, 30,174 South Koreans from 103 countries had returned home, Cheong Wa Dae's deputy spokesperson Yoon Jae-kwan said. The number includes overseas residents, as well as students and travelers.
Of the total, 1,707 returned on chartered planes, including military aircraft, from China, Japan, Iran, Peru, Italy, Ethiopia and other countries.
Yoon said the government engaged in active dialogue with other countries to arrange temporary flights by private air carriers to bring its citizens back home.
Some 773 South Koreans from 48 countries returned home using temporary flights arranged by foreign governments, while 439 foreigners from 23 countries used flights arranged by South Korea during the period, the official said.
The number of Japanese who returned home using flights arranged by the Seoul government stood at 250 from 13 countries, while some 100 South Koreans returned home from 13 countries using flights arranged by Tokyo.
"The government has used all possible diplomatic capabilities based on the principle that we will assist the safe return of South Koreans across the world, no matter where they are," Yoon told reporters.
Yoon also said the government will put more efforts towward allowing businesspeople to travel abroad despite worldwide movement restrictions due to COVID-19.
Since the outbreak of the virus crisis, 6,742 South Korean businesspeople have entered 12 countries, including Vietnam and China, through special permits, according to the official. (Yonhap)