South Korea urges vigilance despite Covid-19 cases decline

  • South Korea
  • Saturday, 14 Mar 2020

South Koreans making their way through the popular Hongdae student district of Seoul on Saturday (March 14). South Korea’s Prime Minister said on Saturday the country’s war against the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is broadening despite a notable decline in new cases. - AFP

SEOUL: South Korea’s Prime Minister said on Saturday (March 14) the country’s war against the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is broadening despite a notable decline in new cases.

He is urging vigilance after the emergence of infection clusters in areas including Seoul and warning of the possibility that the virus re-enters the country from abroad amid widening outbreaks in the West.

Chung Se-kyun’s comments during a government meeting on Saturday came as infections continued to slow in the worst-hit city of Daegu, which has reported daily increases of 60 to 70 cases over the past three days after averaging around 500 new cases per day a week ago.

South Korea reported 117 new cases and five more fatalities, bringing its total numbers to 8,086 cases and 72 deaths.

Officials said 204 people were released from hospitals, making Saturday the second consecutive day that recoveries outnumbered new infections.

But there’s concern over a steady rise in infections in the Seoul metropolitan area, where at least 115 infections have been connected to a call centre.

Meanwhile, Japan's Defence Ministry says one of its officials tested positive for the virus after returning from Paris where he attended an international defence seminar.

The March 4-11 seminar was suspended on March 8 after a participant was found to have been infected.

The ministry said Saturday that the official was in his 40s and returned on a flight assigned by the French government, arriving at Tokyo's Haneda international airport.

Although he had no symptoms, the official was picked up by a Self-Defence Force vehicle driven by personnel in protective gear and transported to a hospital for a test as a precaution. The result was positive.

The ministry said the Japanese official had stayed at his hotel until his departure from Paris on Friday.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced what she says will be some of the toughest border restrictions in the world in an attempt to keep out the new coronavirus.

From Monday, all incoming passengers, including New Zealand citizens, will be required to isolate themselves for 14 days. The only countries exempt from the restrictions are a handful of Pacific islands that haven’t yet had any cases of Covid-19.

New Zealand has had only six confirmed cases of the illness. All of those have been connected with international travelers and there have been no signs yet of any local outbreaks.

The measures announced Saturday will have a big impact on New Zealand’s tourism industry, which provides the country’s largest single source of foreign income. - AP
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South Korea , Covid-19 , Cases Decline


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