Coronavirus: South Korea records first death
South Korea reported its first death from the novel coronavirus Thursday as a new cluster of infections emerged at a hospital and the country 8217;s total number of cases nearly doubled to more than 100.
The man who died was in his 60s and a long-term patient among 15 people found to be infected at a hospital in Cheongdo County, 320 kilometres (200 miles) south of Seoul, the Korean Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement.
Two patients who Yonhap news agency said were in the psychiatric ward tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, prompting authorities to begin testing all patients and staff.
The man who died Wednesday had shown symptoms of pneumonia, and his status was only established posthumously.
KCDC on Thursday announced a total of 51 new confirmed cases, taking the nationwide total to 104.
More than 40 were in a cluster in Daegu 8212; near Cheongdo 8212; and centred on the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an entity often accused of being a cult.
Shincheonji claims its founder, Lee Man-hee, has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on the day of judgement.
A 61-year-old woman member developed a fever on February 10, but attended at least four church services before being diagnosed.
Local media said she had twice refused to be tested for the coronavirus on the grounds she had not recently travelled abroad.
So far at least 47 other members of the sect have been confirmed as infected, and KCDC said the original patient had visited Cheongdo earlier this month, not ruling out the possibility she may have been the source of infections there as well.
An epidemiological survey was underway to examine 8220;the possibility of a link 8221; between her and the hospital infections, said South Korea 8217;s KCDC director Jung Eun-kyeong.
8220;Those who visited the Cheongdo hospital this month should try to avoid outside activity, 8221; she added.
The mayor of Daegu 8212; South Korea 8217;s fourth-biggest city, with a population of over 2.5 million 8212; advised residents to stay indoors, and commanders at a major US base in the area restricted access.
A total of 64 cases have been confirmed in the city and neighbouring North Gyeongsang province, and Daegu mayor Kwon Young-jin urged residents: 8220;Starting from today, please refrain from leaving your house as much as possible. 8221;
The mayor 8217;s request is not binding, but one online poster who said they were in the city tweeted: 8220;I can 8217;t go out because of Shincheonji and it 8217;s driving me crazy.
8220;Convenience stores and elderly community centres are closed, it takes twice as long for food delivery. It 8217;s really making me insane. 8221;
Daegu 8217;s municipal government said 1,001 Shincheonji members believed to have attended services with the infected woman have been asked to self-quarantine.
The US Army garrison in the city 8212; where around 10,000 soldiers, civilians and family members live or work 8212; restricted access and instructed any American troops who had recently attended Shincheonji services to self-quarantine.
8220;Travel in and around Daegu is highly discouraged unless absolutely necessary, 8221; the garrison said Thursday in a Facebook post.
8220;Please avoid public places and public transportation, to include stores, restaurants, subways and other heavily congested areas. 8221;
Shincheonji closed down all its facilities nationwide.标签：