S. Korea reports 74 new coronavirus infections

17 Mars, 2020, 02:15 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • S. Korea reports 74 new coronavirus infections

Unlike China and Italy, which have locked down entire cities, South Korea has not blocked the movement of people in and out of regions heavily affected by the outbreak.

For the first time since the novel coronavirus was first identified a year ago, there are now more reported cases outside of mainland China than inside, marking a new milestone in the evolution of the global pandemic.

South Korean soldiers disinfect Daegu after a second cluster of cases linked to a religious group emerged.

South Korea, which has the highest number of cases in Asia after China, now has a total to 8,162 confirmed infections and 75 deaths, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said (KCDC).

Forty-one of the new coronavirus cases were from Daegu, where a secretive church at the centre of the outbreak is located.

Other major provinces and cities have also reported some infections, with Gyeonggi Province reporting 20 additional cases.

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The Grace River Church in Seongnam, south of the capital, finally closed its doors on Sunday after almost a third of its 135 worshippers tested positive - including the pastor and his wife.

Since raising the virus alert level to "red", the highest level, on February 23, health authorities have focused on halting the spread of the virus in Daegu and North Gyeongsang.

President Moon Jae-in declared the southeastern city of Daegu and part of North Gyeongsang Province "special disaster zones" on Sunday.

There were 74 new coronavirus infections reported on Monday, down from 76 on Sunday and marking the second day in a row that the number has been below 100.

The country was testing people for the virus at the fastest pace in the world, which appears to have allowed early detection of cases, keeping its mortality rate lower than average.

Currently, there is no evidence that the new coronavirus is airborne. "So far, there has been no objective evidence regarding asymptomatic transmission", Jeong said.

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