South Korea reports biggest one-day jump in coronavirus cases so far
Seoul/Beijing (dpa) – South Korea reported its largest daily increase in coronavirus cases on Wednesday after 284 new infections were confirmed, bringing the total to 1,261 in the country.
The majority of the cases are concentrated in the south-eastern city of Daegu, which has a population of around 2.5 million, and the surrounding region.
The quickly-spreading outbreak, which has also hit Cheongdo in North Gyeongsang Province, is the largest outside China, where the new coronavirus started spreading in December last year.
The US military said one of its soldiers was in self-quarantine after testing positive. The 23-year-old is based at Camp Carroll, located near Daegu. There are 28,500 US military personnel in South Korea.
Twelve deaths related to the Covid-19 illness caused by the virus have been recorded in South Korea, the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.
The majority of the country’s cases have been linked to the Shincheonji church near Daegu, and to a hospital in Cheongdo.
President Moon Jae In has described the situation in the country as “very grave,” adding that the week ahead would be critical to combat the spread of the virus.
The Philippine government on Wednesday imposed a partial travel ban on South Korea. Filipino tourists are not allowed to visit to South Korea, while travellers from the province of North Gyeongsang are not allowed to enter the Philippines.
China quarantined 94 travellers from an Asiana flight from Seoul, South Korea as a precaution against a further spread of the epidemic after three passengers were found with fever, state media reported.
The three were taken to the hospital due to fears they might be infected, but the first test came back negative for all three. The results of a second test will be announced on Thursday, CCTV said.
Health authorities inspected the rest of the passengers who on the flight to Nanjing and quarantined travellers three rows in front of and three rows behind the patients who had a fever, totalling 94 out of the flight’s 166 passengers.
Local authorities said 68 of the 94 quarantined passengers are foreign nationals, from South Korea, Germany, Russia and Canada.
China reported 406 new infections and 52 deaths over the past 24 hours. All the deaths and 401 out of the 406 infections occurred in Hubei province, home to Wuhan, indicating the outbreak may have come under control in the rest of the country.
The number of deaths in a day is also the smallest since February 1, according to the National Health Commission.
In total, China has so far reported 78,064 infections and 2,715 deaths.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan said one more person has died of Covid-19, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to six. Taiwan reported one more case, raising the number of infections in the country to 32, including one death.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has asked organizers of large sports and cultural events to cancel or postpone them for the next two weeks.
If organizers decide to go ahead with such events, the premier wants them to be conducted at a reduced scale.
“The next two weeks is crucial for Japan to prevent the spread of the outbreak,” Abe said.
Japanese authorities have repeatedly said that the Summer Olympics, which kicks off in July in Tokyo, will take place as scheduled.
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