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South Korea Declares War on Bedbugs After Unusual Outbreak

South Korea has become the latest country to declare war on bedbugs following a wave of outbreaks in major cities such as Incheon near Seoul and the southeastern city of Daegu. As of Monday, 13 confirmed cases of bedbugs with 32 suspected cases reported nationwide, reported Bloomberg citing the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.

The government has announced a four-week campaign to eradicate the blood-sucking insects. The Central and regional governments will carry out inspections at vulnerable facilities including public transport, and dormitories from November 13 through December 8 and will immediately disinfect facilities where bedbugs are found, the report said.

Earlier, a similar outbreak was reported in France and the United Kingdom. The blood-sucking insects were not only spotted in the Paris metro, high-speed trains and Charles De Gaulle Airport but also in schools, municipal libraries, and French households. Authorities were forced to close several schools because of the outbreak. It is also important to note that France is preparing to host the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Traditional Korean spa called “jjimjilbang” in Incheon, west of Seoul, and a college dorm in the southeastern city of  Daegu reported the bedbug outbreak, Reuters reported, citing officials.

The bedbug reports have caused anxiety in public regarding a bedbug invasion.

“Public anxiety is inevitable as reports continue to come in,” Park Ku-yeon, first deputy chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, who heads the team in charge of the campaign, told Reuters.

The government is planning to collaborate with private pest control firms to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the situation and is also expediting the import of new types of pesticides to control the situation.  

Authorities have asked metro operators to disinfect trains more frequently, and gradually replace fabric seats with plastic ones. The hospitality industry is also distributing bedbug repellents and training their staff.

Source : Mint