S. Korea confirms first death of person infected with Covid-19

Remigio Civitarese
Февраля 20, 2020

The death was the ninth confirmed from the virus outside mainland China.

2 Japanese passengers of Diamond Princess cruise ship have died.

The ocean liner was carrying 3,700 people in total and passengers who tested negative for the virus began leaving the ship on Wednesday after a 14-day quarantine.

"We are seeing infections in some areas like Seoul and Daegu where it's hard to confirm the cause or routes of the infections", Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said, adding that the government would need to change its quarantine strategy that has focused on tracing contacts.

China reported 114 new deaths on Wednesday but the number of new infections recorded was 394 compared with 1,749 on Tuesday.

Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin told residents to stay indoors as he warned of likely further cases.

A 61-year-old woman member developed a fever on February 10, but attended at least four church services before being diagnosed.

"We are in an unprecedented crisis", Kwon told reporters, adding that all members of the church would be tested.

"We believe that there were many contacts at the church and we are planning to conduct kit tests for the entire church", said KCDC chief Jung Eun-kyeong in a briefing, according to The Korea Times. Residents say the streets of the city are now empty. "It looks like a zombie apocalypse".

Most of Thursday's newly confirmed COVID-19 cases are from Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, after the 31st confirmed patient visited Cheongdo Daenam hospital and also attended religious services in Daegu.

But revisions to their methodology have raised doubts about the data.

A South Korean city of 2.5million people is on lock-down after the number cases in southeastern Daegu spike by 35 today.

Only last week, another change in Chinese methodology created an overnight spike of almost 15,000 new cases, reversing a trend of falling numbers that Chinese officials had previously touted as evidence their disease-fighting strategy was working.

The transmission is highly suspected of occurring among members of a church in Daegu, with health authorities saying a woman in her 60s who attends the church is presumed to have infected 28 more people in addition to the 15 others reported Wednesday.

The coronavirus, which originated in China's Hubei province, causes pneumonia-like symptoms.

South Korea also reported the first death of a coronavirus patient, though the man's exact cause of death was being investigated.

"There is no will need for additional speaking about this", he mentioned in a tweet, apologising to "those who acquired concerned". Schools in the city, which had been due to re-open on Friday, will also stay shut.

The garrison also lifted limits on wearing face masks for American troops in uniform, who normally are only allowed to wear them on days with extreme pollution. Japanese passengers were permitted to go home once cleared to leave; other countries are flying passengers home and keeping them isolated on arrival.

The rapid spread of the disease - Japan has well over half of the known cases outside China - has sparked criticism of authorities just months before Tokyo is due to host the Summer Olympics.

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