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(3rd LD) S. Korea reports 4 new coronavirus cases, total now at 11

All News 15:20 January 31, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with more details in paras 2-3)

SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported four more cases of the new coronavirus Friday, bringing the total number of infected people to 11 as the country struggles to contain the outbreak that is sweeping across the world.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the eighth case involved a 62-year-old South Korean woman who visited Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, and came home on Jan. 23. It said information on the other three are being checked and will be released in the future.

The announcement comes just hours after the public health agency confirmed the country's seventh case involving a 28-year-old South Korean man who visited Wuhan and returned via the Chinese port city of Qingdao on Jan. 23.

A notice placed on the entrance of a community health service center in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Jan. 30, 2020, asks people who have been to China recently to use a separate entrance as a safety precaution to avoid transmission. (Yonhap)

But he did not show any related symptoms upon arrival at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul.

The patient complained of a mild cold three days later and visited a clinic Tuesday when he had a fever at which time doctors checked him for the novel virus. The patient was quarantined immediately.

The KCDC said it is trying to track those who have been in contact with him.

Seoul has tightened its quarantine rules and started to check everyone that returned from Wuhan, regardless of any signs of the illness.

Common symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, sore throat and breathing difficulties, with more acute cases involving chills and muscle pain.

The country's health authorities said 368 South Koreans were brought back from Wuhan, and 18 were moved to hospitals for monitoring as they showed symptoms, such as fever.

The evacuated nationals will be taken to public facilities and held for 14 days during which time they will not be allowed out or to meet visitors, they said.

The health ministry said that doctors at the sites will check them regularly, with all to be checked again before they are allowed to leave.

South Korea confirmed its first case of the new strain of coronavirus on Jan. 20. On Thursday, the country reported two more cases, with one believed to be potentially the country's first person-to-person transmission.

Worldwide, 9,805 cases had been reported in 22 countries as of early Friday, with 213 people dying from the illness so far.


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