The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Sunday that it has confirmed three additional coronavirus patients, pushing up the total to 15.
The 13th confirmed patient is a man, 28, whom the government evacuated out of Wuhan, the epicenter of the current outbreak, along with 368 Koreans in the first chartered plane on Friday. According to the KCDC, the man had been initially moved to a makeshift quarantine shelter in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, as he showed no symptoms upon arrival.
"However, the men reported that he was feeling ill on Saturday and tested positive for the coronavirus," the agency said. "He has since been transported to the National Medical Center in Seoul and quarantined."
Excluding the confirmed patient, the KCDC added that all evacuees that arrived in Korea on the first chartered plane have tested negative for the virus.
The agency is also running tests on the 333 Koreans who arrived here aboard the second chartered plane on Saturday.
"As of Sunday, eight have tested negative for the disease, and we are c conducting tests on all remaining 325 evacuees," the agency said. "The country's 14th case is a 40-year-old Chinese woman who is the wife of the 12th confirmed patient, a Chinese man who was working as a tour guide in Japan.”
The 15th patient is a 43-year-old Korean man who was in Wuhan and returned on Jan. 20, it added.
"The agency also said it is conducting an epidemiological investigation into the newly confirmed patients and will share the information with the public as soon as possible.
During its daily briefing, the agency explained its epidemiological probes into the eighth and 12th patient.
"The eighth patient is a 62-year-old Korean woman, who arrived at Incheon International Airport from Wuhan via Qingdao on Jan. 23 and had contacted 72 people," the KCDC said. "Of the 72, three have shown suspected signs of the new coronavirus, with two testing negative and one person still undergoing tests,"
The other 66 people who contacted with the patient are under self-quarantine, the agency added.
KCDC explained that it is conducting an additional investigation on the passengers and crew members who boarded the same flight as the patient as both the seventh and eighth confirmed patients are known to have been on the same flight out of China.
Returning to the 12th patient, who arrived at Gimpo International Airport on Jan. 19, the agency said that he had contacted 138 people. "The patient had already infected his family member, the 14th confirmed patient," the KCDC said. "Other people who have come in contact with the patient are currently under self-quarantine."
The agency noted that they are looking into any other possible contacts that the patient might have had before he was quarantined.
"As of 9:00 a.m., Sunday, we have found 429 suspected patients for the new coronavirus," the KCDC said. "Of the total patients, we have confirmed 15, ruled out 327 and are testing 87."
Meanwhile, the death tolls in China rose to 304, while there have been more than 2,000 new cases in the country on Saturday alone. Such increases in numbers have raised the worldwide coronavirus total to nearly 14,500 in 26 countries.
The global community also saw the first death due to the new coronavirus outside of China.
According to the Philippines health agency, a 44-year-old man in the Southeast Asian country has died of the coronavirus, making him the first known mortality outside of China.
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