Seoul: A couple, who tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant in South Korea, was found to have lied about how they went home from the airport upon return from Nigeria, leaving dozens of people exposed to the risk of infection.
The couple — a pastor and his wife in their 40s — initially told health authorities they took one of the officially designated infection-proof “quarantine” taxies to return home from Incheon International Airport on November 24.
But it was found later that a friend of the couple, an Uzbek national, drove them home in a private vehicle. That left the friend out of health authorities’ radar even after the couple tested positive for Covid-19 on November 25, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The friend moved around without any restrictions for six days, came into contact with 87 people, including family, friends and co-workers, putting them at risk of Covid infection. He later tested positive for the new variant.
Officials said, two of them — his wife and his mother-in-law — have been categorised as suspected Omicron cases and an investigation is under way.
Health authorities said they are mulling over the option of filing charges of infectious disease prevention law violations against the couple, saying “their false statement left the Uzbek man uncategorised as those who came in close contact with Covid patients.”