Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Chinese students returning to South Korea for the spring semester are apologizing for the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in Korea, where 977 people have been infected and 11 have died, according to the latest statistics from Seoul.
Tens of thousands of Chinese students are expected to descend on South Korean university campuses as the country struggles to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. On Tuesday, Seoul confirmed 144 new cases.
A Chinese student from the northeastern city of Harbin said the epidemic was a cause for sadness and that "as a Chinese national, I am a little bit apologetic," Yonhap reported from Incheon International Airport.
South Korea has declined to ban travelers from China, where more than 77,000 people have been confirmed to have the virus and more than 2,600 people have died, including physicians treating patients at hospitals operating at over capacity.
Chinese students have arrived on the campus of Kyung Hee University near central Seoul, where 3,839 Chinese students are officially enrolled, according to Yonhap.
The students are arriving in increments, some of them wearing eye goggles. On Tuesday, five Chinese students arrived at the campus, where they are to stay in specially designated dormitories. Medical staff are to check on their symptoms, the report says.
South Korea's decision to let in Chinese students despite the widespread epidemic comes at a time when Chinese authorities are taking measures against travelers from South Korea, citing the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Four regional airports in China are requiring all visitors from South Korea to undergo some form of quarantine, either at their residences or their hotels, South Korean television network JTBC reported Tuesday.
The airports in China that are applying mandatory quarantines are in Yanji, Jilin Province, Qingdao and Weihai in Shandong Province and Shenyang, Liaoning Province, according to the report.