A petition to impeach President Moon Jae-in is gaining support in South Korea, with people accusing him of not doing enough to contain the fatal coronavirus – including keeping borders partly open for Chinese travelers.
“Watching President Moon respond to the COVID-19 outbreak is like looking at the president of China, not the president of Korea,” reads the petition published on the South Korean presidential administration’s website. At the time of writing, it had accumulated over 643,000 votes calling for Moon to step down.
The sitting president, petitioners insist, sent three million medical masks to China even though the very same masks were in short supply in South Korea. And while his government banned all arrivals from virus-hit Wuhan, it didn’t close the borders to Chinese travelers from other provinces.
“Over 5 million Chinese got out of Wuhan just before it was locked down. Limiting the entry of only foreigners who visited Hubei Province is the same as opening the country to all Chinese people,” petitioners complain, adding: “You can’t watch it anymore.”
South Korea recently saw record numbers of coronavirus cases outside of China. Within one week, the number of patients diagnosed with 2019-nCoV skyrocketed from a few dozen to nearly 1,000 this Tuesday, putting medical staff on the highest alert.
One of Asia’s most developed countries seemed well-prepared for containing the fatal virus, so the spike in coronavirus cases came as shocking news to many locals. So far, more than half of the cases have been attributed to a doomsday Christian sect based in the city of Daegu, whose secretive nature helped patients go undetected.