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South Korea: Coronavirus cases, death toll climb

Death toll in South Korea coronavirus outbreak rises to 11 as total cases near 1,000

Zehra Nur Duz   | 25.02.2020
South Korea: Coronavirus cases, death toll climb A person with symptoms of suspected coronavirus infection is being examined by hospital personnel at National Medical Center on February 20, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. ( Jong-Hyun Kim - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA

The death toll from coronavirus in South Korea has reached 11, while the number of new cases soared to about 1,000, local media reported Tuesday.

The country -- which has more cases than any other country except China -- has reported that two more persons died in last 24 hours, state-run news agency Yonhap reported.

A total of 144 new cases of the virus, widely known as COVID-19, were also confirmed, upping the total number of infections in the country to 977, the agency quoted the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention as saying.

Most new cases were centered at a branch of a religious sect in the southeastern city of Daegu and a hospital in the neighboring county of Cheongdo, accounting for about three-quarters of the total cases in the country.

Korean Air, South Korea's flag carrier, on Tuesday extended flight suspensions to China by one month through April 25, and halted more flights on international routes to help halt the spread.

Seven matches of Japan’s Levain Cup football competition were also postponed on Tuesday, with decisions on other matches to follow.

In addition, the Table Tennis World Championships in Busan, South Korea's second most-populous city, has been postponed from March to June.

Economic hit

Asia's fourth-largest economy has been badly affected by the rapid rise in virus cases.

Earlier on Monday, President Moon Jae-in told officials to look into whether extra spending is needed to blunt the virus’ negative impact.

On Sunday, Seoul issued a red-level alert for the first time since the 2009 outbreak of H1N1 swine flu.

The top alert level enables authorities to ordain the temporary shutdown of schools and halt flights to and from the country.

The nation’s first death from coronavirus was reported on Feb. 20.

In China, the epicenter of the virus, the death toll from the outbreak reached 2,663 Tuesday, with nearly 76,700 confirmed cases.

The coronavirus has spread to more than 25 other countries including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.

Jordan decided to bar the entrance of foreign visitors from South Korea to help stem the spread.

Israel also banned the entrance of foreign nationals from South Korea on Saturday. About 400 South Korean tourists returned home from Israel on Tuesday, Yonhap reported.

Meanwhile, North Korea placed 380 foreigners in quarantine as the virus started to spread rapidly in its southern neighbor.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

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