Korea reported another confirmed case of novel coronavirus Sunday, an 82-year-old Korean man with no record of foreign travel, breaking the five-day lull in new cases and bringing the total to 29.
The Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the 29th patient visited the emergency room of Korea University Anam Hospital on Saturday complaining of chest discomfort and pneumonia symptoms. The hospital screened the patient due to his pneumonia symptoms and confirmed the infection.
The patient is quarantined in the Seoul National University Hospital, a nationally designated hospital. Currently, he has pneumonia symptoms and fever, but the general condition is stable.
Korea University Anam Hospital closed its emergency room and quarantined all medical workers who treated the 29th patient.
The patient had no international travel history or contacts with any of the previously confirmed patients. The agency is conducting an epidemiological survey on the patient.
KCDC released the results of the analysis of the epidemiological characteristics of the 28 confirmed patients. It said that 16 patients among 28 confirmed cases had an international travel history, and 10 patients were infected in Korea. The government is continuing an epidemiological survey on the other two patients.
Most of the confirmed patients showed mild or nonspecific initial clinical symptoms such as fever and sore throat complaints.
The nationally designated hospitals discharged eight confirmed patients, and another one will be free from quarantine soon. These patients responded negatively to the diagnostic tests more than twice after their symptoms improved significantly.
Currently, 7,313 people showed a negative response to the diagnostic test among 7,919 suspected cases, and the other 577 are still being examined.
There have been no cases of human-to-human transmission from asymptomatic patients, KCDC said, noting that the virus’ average incubation period for infected patients within the country was 4.1 days.
KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong said the nation has to focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19 at medical institutions where there many elderly and sick patients and in regional communities.
Earlier in the day, the health authorities released the second group of 334 Koreans evacuated from Wuhan, China, following a two-week quarantine after they all tested negative for the new coronavirus. The first group of 366 evacuees were released from quarantine and returned home on Saturday.
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