International News

Surge in coronavirus cases, South Korea issues high alert

SHANGHAI: South Korea recently announced high alert after a sharp jump in coronavirus cases were reported.As per reports, similar steps were taken by Italy and Iran, as nearly 2,500 people were killed in China.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also warned Africa which could be potentially vulnerable to the new disease, which has spilled out of China to more than 25 countries.

South Korea raised the nation’s alert to its ‘highest’ level when President Moon Jae announced after the number of infections nearly tripled over the weekend to 602.

“The next few days will be crucial,” Moon said following a government meeting on the virus. `The government will raise the alert level to the highest level according to experts` recommendations.

He did not specify what those measures might include.

South Korea reported 169 new cases and three deaths, taking the countrywide fatality toll to five, according to local news agency.

More than 300 cases have been linked to the Shincheonji Churchof Jesus sect in Daegu with some 9,300 members either quarantined or asked to stay at home, according to the Korean Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new cases included a Samsung Electronics employee at a plant in Gumi city, leading the tech giant to suspend operations there.

Elsewhere, Italy began introducing the sort of containment measures previously seen only in China, which has put tens of millions of people under lockdown in the epicentre province of Hubei. More than 50,000 people in about a dozen northern Italian towns near the business hub of Milan were told to stay home, while shops and schools were shuttered. The number of cases in the country rose to more than 100, the president of the northern Lombardy region said.

Italy became the first European country to report two of its nationals had died from the virus, both were elderly people.

China reported another 97 deaths in its daily update, taking its total to 2,442, plus 648 new infections. Nearly 80,000 people have been infected worldwide, the vast majority in China.

The outbreak in China remains concentrated in the city of Wuhan locked down exactly one month ago.

-Courtesy by AFP

February 24, 2020

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