South Korea reports 594 new coronavirus infections for total of 2931

29 Février, 2020, 13:26 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Employees from a disinfection service company are reflected in a shop's window as they sanitize a shopping district in Seoul South Korea.-Reuters

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's approval rating have dropped to their lowest since November, a poll showed on Friday, amid growing criticism of his government's handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

The new infections come as South Korea urged citizens to stay indoors as it warned of a "critical moment" in its battle on the coronavirus.

The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said that more than 90 per cent of the new cases were in Daegu, the city at the epicentre of the outbreak in South Korea.

Of those who test positive for the virus, 80 percent can be treated with medication because they have "light symptoms", said vice health minister Kim Gang-lip, adding that the rest would need more advanced treatment in hospitals.

Two South Africans on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a state-run medical institute.

Other major provinces and cities have also reported new virus infections, the latest sign that the potentially deadly virus is spreading rapidly across the country.

Since raising the virus alert level to "red", the highest level, on Sunday, health authorities have focused on halting the spread of the virus in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.

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As of Saturday morning, South Korea is carrying out tests on 35,182 people nationwide, while 55,723 people have tested negative in total.

"We confirm that these citizens are now being treated in Japan and are in good care", said a statement by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

"Given the huge volume of testing, the number of patients is expected to decline from a peak after a certain period of time goes by", the pulmonologist said.

Realmeter, which surveyed some 1,500 people on Tuesday and Wednesday, said Moon's popularity fell to 44.7%, down from about 50% before the country confirmed its first case of virus infection on Jan 20.

Across the nation, local governments and hospitals have launched an easier and faster testing method - "drive-thru" test centers that allow a driver with symptoms to get a test inside his or her vehicle.

Health authorities said the entire process will take only 10 minutes.

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