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Some South Korea coronavirus updates

'We are not the virus': Daegu resident breaks silence amid mounting coronavirus fear





Kim Sang-hun is a 27-year-old student who lives in Dalseo-gu, western Daegu, just 15 minutes away from the Shincheonji Daegu Church where the 31st patient, a 61-year-old woman, had attended a service with hundreds others.



S. Korean woman reinfected with coronavirus after recovery

South Korea reported the first case of reinfection by the new coronavirus Saturday amid mounting concerns over the rapid rise in virus infections here.

A South Korean woman tested positive for COVID-19 a second time, even after being released from quarantine, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The 73-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with the virus earlier in the month, was released from a hospital on Feb. 22 after making a full recovery.

She started showed symptoms again Thursday and was found to have contracted the illness again Friday, the public health agency said.

"People normally would have become immune against the virus after being infected for the first time. The patient, however, may have a weak immune system due to her age," a KCDC official said.

The official added it is also possible the virus was not fully eradicated from the patient in the first place.

This is the first time in South Korea that a person has been infected a second time with COVID-19 after being discharged.

The woman had not traveled abroad, although her son and daughter-in-law had recently been to China's Guangdong Province, and both had contracted the virus.

Local health authorities said that the woman claimed she had stayed indoors after her release.

The KCDC said it is carrying out a close observation on the case and added there were 10 similar cases reported in China, the global epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.

South Korea reported a whopping 594 additional cases of the new coronavirus to bring total infections to 2,931 as of Saturday morning.

So far, 17 virus patients have died from the virus that emerged in China late last year.

South Korea said it will review revising its guidelines for people being released from quarantine following the new infection.



76 countries restricting entry from S. Korea over coronavirus concerns

Over 75 countries are imposing entry restrictions and stricter quarantine procedures for travelers from South Korea over coronavirus concerns, foreign ministry data showed Saturday, as the virus is spreading fast in the country, with infection cases topping 3,100.

As of late Saturday, 34 countries are barring the entry of South Koreans and foreigners who have visited the Asian country in the past few weeks, up from the previous tally of 30, according to the ministry website.

Malaysia, Lebanon and the Cook Islands in the South Pacific were the latest to enforce the measure. Kyrgyzstan will begin to impose entry bans Sunday, stepping up their restrictions from tougher quarantine procedures.

Forty-one countries, nine Chinese provinces, and the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Tianjin have tougher quarantine processes, most of which require a 14-day mandatory isolation and close monitoring.

Several Eastern European countries have joined the move, including Latvia, North Macedonia and Bulgaria. Angola, Gabon, Albania and Uzbekistan were also added to the list.

Many of these countries have added China, Japan, Singapore and Italy -- where major outbreaks of the virus have occurred -- on their quarantine lists.

South Korea added 813 additional cases of the novel virus Saturday, bringing total infections to 3,150, with 17 deaths.

Seoul has called for foreign countries to refrain from taking excessive entry restrictions against South Koreans. But the rapid spread of the COVID-19 outbreak is prodding the countries to take action, from restricting entries and issuing travel alerts to reducing flights to and from Korea.

A South Korean plane bound for Vietnam had to return home less than an hour after its takeoff from Incheon on Saturday as the Vietnamese authorities did not allow the plane to land at the airport in Hanoi as scheduled.

The Southeast Asian country is among many others that have banned the entry of people from South Korea's two southeastern areas -- Daegu city and the nearby North Gyeongsang Province, where major outbreaks of the virus have occurred.

South Korea has also issued an advisory asking its citizens to reconsider or delay any planned trip to countries that have imposed entry restrictions, citing the inconvenience or safety issues that may occur.

Early Saturday, Seoul issued a "navy" travel alert, the lowest on a four-level scale, for all of Japan, advising its citizens to take precautions. The Fukushima region is currently under a higher alert following the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Japan has reported at least 900 infection cases from the coronavirus, most of which come from the quarantined cruise ship in Yokohama.



Asiana flight turns back en route to Vietnam on coronavirus

A South Korean flight turned back while en route to Vietnam on Saturday after the Vietnamese authorities prevented it from landing in Hanoi, with more flights connecting the two countries expected to be suspended amid the spread of the new coronavirus.

The flight of Asiana Airlines Inc., the country's second-biggest carrier, arrived back at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, around two hours after departing for Hanoi at 10:30 a.m.

Asiana said it decided to return flight OZ729 when the Vietnamese authorities requested the plane land at Van Don International Airport, around 140 kilometers away from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

The plane was carrying 40 passengers.

It was not immediately clear why the Vietnamese authorities made the request.

"While Vietnam has not provided us with a clear reason, we believe it is connected with the spread of the new coronavirus," an Asian Airlines official said. "We decided to turn back as we do not have experience of landing at the airport."

Effective Saturday, Vietnam suspended its 15-day visa-waiver program for South Korean nationals, the first time the program has been halted since its implementation in July 2004.

The decision is widely expected to affect other flights connecting South Korea and Vietnam, industry watchers said.

Along with the suspension, Vietnam has banned the entry of visitors who have traveled to South Korea's southeastern city of Daegu and the adjacent North Gyeongsang Province, the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak here.

South Korea reported a whopping 813 additional cases of the new coronavirus to bring total infections to 3,150 as of Saturday. So far, 17 patients have died from COVID-19 that emerged in China late last year, including one death earlier in the day.

The two air carriers plan to send separate flights Saturday, with only cabin crews on board to bring back their passengers from Vietnam. Korean Air plans to send six such flights, and Asiana will send four.

Asiana said it has also suspended its flight to Hanoi scheduled for Sunday and is considering canceling four other flights to Vietnam as well.






source: The Korea Times & Yonhap News 1 2 3
Tags: current events, health
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