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[2019-Novel Coronavirus] Korea clears 97 suspected coronavirus patients; tests 15, confirms 4WHO elevates risk assessment for new coronavirus to ‘high’
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2020.01.28 11:59
  • Updated 2020.01.28 17:06
  • comments 0

Korea confirmed its fourth patient of new coronavirus Monday and has since reported any additional cases.

"We are quarantining and testing 15 suspected patients," the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said Tuesday. "Right now, no additional patients were confirmed,"

The government announced that it would allocate 20.8 billion won ($17.6 million) immediately to beefing up its quarantine operations and increase the amount if necessary. "We are closely examining the impact of the spread of the virus in China on its consumption and production, along with the global economy and our exports," Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said during an emergency meeting

"The budget of 1 billion won for chartering a plane to bring back Korean nationals from Wuhan, China, has already been reflected in the budget, and we are preparing to execute it immediately when the government decides to send the chartered plane,” Hong said.

According to the consulate general in Wuhan, 693 Koreans have submitted their intention to board the chartered plane. The government plans to send the aircraft as early as Thursday. Those who return home will be quarantined for at least two weeks at a place designated by the government.

"However, Chinese nationals are not allowed to board the charter, even if they are family members of a Korean citizen, according to the Chinese government policy," the consulate general in Wuhan said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published a risk assessment that has revised the global level of risk of the new coronavirus, which originated from China, “from moderate to high.”

According to wire reports, WHO released the report on Monday, editing the risk assessment of the new coronavirus as very high in China and high at the regional and global levels

In a footnote, the WHO explained that it had stated incorrectly in its previous reports on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that the global risk was moderate.

However, the correction of the global risk assessment does not mean that the WHO has declared the new coronavirus as an international health emergency. WHO combines coverage, rate of spread, and the ability to respond to determine the risk level.

In China, where the virus originated, the death toll has now increased to 106, with 1,300 newly confirmed infections. According to China's National Health Commission, the number of deaths in Hubei, where most of the virus has affected the most, has risen to 100 from 76.

The infection is also continuing to spread globally as infections have been reported throughout Asia and Australia, as well as in the U.S., France and Canada. Germany also confirmed its first case on Tuesday.


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