Coronavirus Cases Continue to Climb in South Korea, Topping 5,600

Coronavirus Cases Continue to Climb in South Korea, Topping 5,600
South Korean soldiers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus at a shopping district in Seoul on March 4, 2020. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images)
Frank Fang

South Korea has reported hundreds of new cases of novel coronavirus on March 4, taking the total number of infected to 5,621.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 516 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the national total to 5,328. Health officials subsequently identified 293 additional cases as of 4 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, there have now been at least 33 deaths in connection to the virus, after a 67-year-old woman who had no underlying illness died on Wednesday.

Among all the infection cases in South Korea, 41 people have fully recovered and been discharged from hospital.

So far KCDC has not announced details of the 293 new cases.

There are 4,006 cases in Daegu and 774 are in the broader North Gyeongsang province, accounting for 89.7 percent of the 5,328 known cases.

Gyeonggi province has the third-highest number of cases in South Korea with 101, followed by 99 at the capital Seoul, 93 at Busan, and 82 in South Chungcheong province.

At South Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju, there are three confirmed cases of the virus.

Daegu, home to 2.5 million people, is located about 186 miles southeast of Seoul.

Out of the 4,006 cases in Daegu, 2,585 are connected to the Shincheonji Church.

Many of those cases related to the church have been traced back to a 61-year-old female follower who tested positive for the virus on Feb. 18 as the country’s 31st confirmed case.

People in their 20s account for 1,575 known cases or 29.6 percent, highest among all the different age brackets. Coming in second are people in their 50s, accounting for 1,051 cases, followed by people in their 40s with 790 cases.

Of the first 32 deaths in South Korea, seniors have accounted for more than half—seven deaths of people in their 60s, 12 deaths of people in their 70s, and six deaths of people in their 80s.

The number of infection cases among Korean military personnel topped 34 on Wednesday, an increase of three from a day earlier, according to local outlet Yonhap News Agency, citing the defense ministry.

Of the 34 cases, 19 are in the Korean Army, 11 in the Air Force, two in the Marine Corps, and one each in the Navy and the defense ministry. Meanwhile, 7,270 service members are still quarantined at their bases.

Meanwhile, the South Korean government has proposed an extra budget bill for 11.7 trillion won (about $9.8 billion) to help with the country’s efforts to contain the outbreak and boost the local economy, according to Yonhap. The bill is scheduled to be submitted to the Korean parliament for approval on Thursday. 
Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers U.S., China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.
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