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Korea’s new COVID-19 cases remain at 100-range for 3 days
  • By Shim Hyun-tai
  • Published 2020.03.14 15:51
  • Updated 2020.03.15 11:31
  • comments 0

Korea confirmed 107 additional cases of the new coronavirus on Saturday, recording the rise in the 100 range for third consecutive days and bringing the total to 8,086.

During the day, 204 patients were discharged from hospitals fully recovered, with the number of recovered patients exceeding newly confirmed ones for the second day.

So far 72 people have died from COVID-19.

The number of COVID-19 patients linked to the call center in Guro-gu, southwestern Seoul, increased as the largest group infection occurred in the capital city and its vicinity. The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters (CDSCH) said the number of confirmed cases related to the call center has risen to 115 as three additional COVID-19 patients confirmed since Friday.

Among the 115 patients, 82 are working at the call center with the other 33 being their family members or acquaintances. However, confirmed cases connected to the call center are increasing as small-scaled infections continued through their relatives and friends.

The health authorities plan to complete the tests of the call center employees and their employees, and other workers in the building.

They stressed the nation should not relax its nerves to prevent smaller group infections despite the declining number of new confirmed cases in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.

"The public might believe the overall situation to be calming down as the new outbreaks are somewhat slowing in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province. We can ill afford to remain complacent, however, given the group infections in Seoul and its satellite towns," said Noh Hong-in, head of CDSCH.

Abroad, U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that his country hoped to drop the travel restrictions on Korea and China as soon as possible as new COVID-19 patients decrease moderately in these countries.

President Trump's speech seemed to be the extension of his address on Wednesday that the U.S. is monitoring Korea and China and trying to reevaluate the travel restrictions and warnings for early mitigation as the situations in the two Asian epicenters.

He said that some countries are making progress in COVID-19 infections, and the U.S. will relieve the restrictions as the number of confirmed patients in their countries lower to a certain amount.

About 130 countries and territories, however, are barring entrance from Korea as the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading globally. Most of them have banned entrance from other countries, including Korea, China, Japan, Iran, and Italia, which have numerous COVID-19 patients.

Amid the slowing but continuing rise of virus outbreaks, President Moon Jae-in called Friday for "unprecedented" policy measures to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, calling key economic officials in Cheong Wa Dae.

Moon’s move came as South Korean shares suffered a headlong fall earlier in the day, sync with global peers over the growing fallout from the new coronavirus, but recouped some of the earlier losses to close 3.4 percent down on impending market and economy-supporting measures.

Universities here are facing growing calls for refunds from students as classes are being disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most universities, not to speak of elementary and secondary educational institutions, postponed the start of the new semester by one or two weeks and many are replacing in-person classes with online lectures.

As of midnight Thursday, the number of people tested for COVID-19 totaled 261,135, aside from the confirmed 8,086 patients. Among the total, 243,701 showed a negative response with the results of the other 17,634 under analysis. The confirmation rate is 3.3 percent, and the fatality rate rose to about 0.9 percent.


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