World Asia 28 Feb 2020 COVID 19 cases top 2 ...

COVID 19 cases top 2,000 in South Korea, China reports 44 new deaths

AFP
Published Feb 28, 2020, 12:26 pm IST
Updated Feb 28, 2020, 12:26 pm IST
More than 90 percent of the new cases were in Daegu, the city at the epicentre of the outbreak in South Korea
A man sprays disinfectant as people wait in line to buy face masks from a department store in Seoul. AFP Photo
 A man sprays disinfectant as people wait in line to buy face masks from a department store in Seoul. AFP Photo

South Korea reported 256 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking its total -- the highest in the world outside China -- to 2,022, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

More than 90 percent of the new cases were in Daegu -- the city at the epicentre of the outbreak in South Korea -- and the neighbouring North Gyeongsang province, it added, with no further deaths keeping the toll at 13.

 

South Korea's total is expected to increase further after checks began on more than 210,000 members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a secretive entity often accused of being a cult that is linked to around half of the country's cases.

A 61-year-old female member developed a fever on February 10, but attended at least four church services in Daegu -- South Korea's fourth-largest city with a population of 2.5 million -- before being diagnosed.

Daegu mayor Kwon Young-jin said the city's total could reach as many as 3,000 in the coming days as more test results on Shincheonji members come through, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
“The next one week will be the tipping point,” he said.

Lowest deaths in China

China reported 44 more deaths from the novel coronavirus epidemic on Friday and 327 fresh cases, the lowest daily figure for new infections in more than a month.
The death toll now stands at 2,788 in mainland China, according to the National Health Commission.
The number of fatalities -- which is up from the 29 reported on Thursday -- were all in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, except for two deaths in Beijing.

In total, 78,824 people have now been infected with the COVID-19 strain in the mainland.

Friday's figure was the lowest rise in new cases since January 24, when 259 new infections were reported.

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