The accumulated total of coronavirus infections in Korea rose to 3,736 on Sunday as it added 586 confirmed patients, with most of them still coming from Daegu and surrounding Gyeongsang Province. The number of deaths also increased to 20.
Daegu, the nation’s fourth-largest city with a population of 2.5 million, saw 469 new patients. Its neighboring province confirmed 67 additional patients testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Among them was the nation's youngest patient, aged 45 days. According to the health authorities, the baby's mother also tested positive for the virus and the two are in self-quarantine.
The authorities decided not to hospitalize the two as their symptoms are not severe and the baby was too young to be hospitalized. However, the will be first in line for hospital beds if their symptoms deteriorate, officials added. The baby's father, who is a member of the Shincheonji Church, a new Christian sect that emerged as the hotbed of coronavirus, tested positive for the virus last Friday.
The U.S. State Department on Saturday raised its travel advisory for Daegu to the highest level and urged its citizens not to travel to the city that has been hit hard by the virus.
"The advisory was raised to Level 4 (do not travel) due to the level of community transmission of the virus and imposition of local quarantine procedures," the agency said. The agency, however, maintained its advisory for the rest of South Korea on Level 3 (reconsider travel).
The notice came after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced restrictions at a White House press briefing and as America confirmed its first death to the novel coronavirus on Saturday.
"We are urging Americans to not travel to the areas in Italy, and the areas in South Korea, that are most affected by the coronavirus," the vice president said.
Aside from the U.S., 80 countries have either banned entry or issued quarantine measures of travelers coming from Korea.
As of 5 p.m., Sunday, the number of people checked for the virus and in quarantine in Korea totaled 37,048. The nation has screened 95,185 citizens for COVID-19 since Jan. 3, with 61,825 showing negative response and 30 patients discharged from hospital with full recovery. Aside from the 20 dead patients, 3,686 are receiving treatments in isolation.
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