Korea registered a hefty 813 additional cases of the new coronavirus on Saturday, pushing up the total to 3,150 as health officials sped up their testing on the members of a new Christian sect in Daegu.
The nation also saw a 77-year-old Korean male die from the novel coronavirus, resulting in the 17th death. He was quarantined in a negative pressure room at Kyungpook National University Hospital (KNUH) in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province,
The Chilgok KNUH reported that the patient was hospitalized last Sunday and confirmed of infection on Tuesday, and he used to have diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
According to the hospital staff, the patient was in a bad condition from the arrival at the hospital.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added this morning three more confirmed patients died in Daegu, the nation’s fourth-largest city with a population of 2.5 million.
Amid the continuous surge in the number of confirmed patients in the country, 71 nations have barred the entrance of travelers from Korea. Sixty-five of the foreign countries, about one-third of the U.N. members, forbid entry from Korea as of Thursday night.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained the government's all-out efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and requested them to refrain from barring entrance from Korea. Still, an increasing number of foreign countries are continuing to prohibit entry from Korea since the Seoul government raised the alert level to the highest.
A Korean woman in her 50s, who traveled to Indonesia for a long-term business trip, committed suicide, leaving a note that she was suspected of having been infected with the coronavirus. The Indonesian police said that her post-mortal sample showed a negative response to the test, and the handwritten note on the scene that showed concerns about COVID-19 infection.
In Anyang, Gyeonggi Province, a 22-year-old soldier was confirmed to have the virus on Friday in the second test that the KCDC conducted. The confirmed soldier seems to have been infected inside the armed force.
Korea also saw its first reconfirmed case, the 25th patient, on Friday afternoon. The patient, a 73-year-old woman, redeveloped symptoms on the sixth day of her discharge from the quarantine.
She was discharged on Feb. 9, after showing a negative response to the test twice since her hospitalization at Seoul Nation University Bundang Hospital. She reported she started to show minor symptoms on Thursday, and the local public health center collected a sample from her and requested testing, reconfirming her virus on Friday afternoon.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also raised the alert level to “very high” on Friday as the COVID-19 spreads worldwide.
“We are very concerned about the continued increase of confirmed cases and victims over the past few days,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “In the past 24 hours, China reported 329 new corona19 confirmed patients, the lowest in a month.”
However, five countries, including Denmark, confirmed their respective first cases, and they are all connected to Italy, which is related to 24 COVID-19 cases in 14 countries, he said.
“Many nations have a link to COVID-19, but we can still track most contacts and groups, and we still do not have firm evidence that the virus is spreading freely in local communities,” the WHO head noted, adding that strong measures for early detection, quarantine, patient care, and contact tracking can still contain the virus.
As of 4 p.m., Saturday, the number of people checked for the virus and in quarantine totaled to 94,055 in Korea. The nation has screened 90,905 citizens for COVID-19 since Jan. 3, with 55,723 showing negative response and 28 patients discharged from hospital with full recovery. An additional 3,105 are receiving treatments in quarantine.
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