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S. Korea to Offer Emergency Payments to Help Ease Impact of COVID-19 

FILE - People wearing masks to protect against contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk along a street in Seoul, South Korea, March 25, 2020.

South Korea says it will make emergency cash payments to many of its citizens as part of efforts to boost its economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

President Moon Jae-in announced Monday during a meeting with a special task force that the government will pay about $820 to all households except for those in the top 30% income bracket, bringing the total amount to $7.4 billion.

President Moon said the payments were compensation for South Koreans who have endured days and weeks of measures to halt the spread of COVID-19, including quarantines and social distancing.

South Korea has 9,661 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday, with 159 deaths and 5,228 others having recovered. The country has earned global praise for its regular testing of hundreds of people daily which has helped slow the spread of the virus.

But the country has seen a rise of imported cases of COVID-19, prompting the government to announce Sunday that it will impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all foreign visitors upon their arrival, effective April 1.