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(LEAD) S. Korea reports 12th confirmed case of novel coronavirus

All News 10:34 February 01, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info throughout)

SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Saturday reported its 12th confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, as the country tightens quarantine efforts to stem the spread of the contagious disease.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the latest case involves a 49-year-old Chinese man who works as a tour guide in Japan and arrived in the country on Jan. 19 through Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul.

The KCDC said the man was acquainted with a Japanese person infected with the virus, indicating that he may be another person-to-person transmission case. It said that the Japanese acquaintance had urged the man to go to a hospital to be checked.

"He visited a hospital here where tests showed he was infected and has since been placed under quarantine," the public health agency said.

It said every effort is being made to determine details of his whereabouts while in the country and people he may have come in contact with, adding more information of the case will be provided later.

South Korea confirmed its first coronavirus case on Jan. 20, with the second incident being reported on Jan. 24, followed by one each on Sunday and Monday. The country said two more cases were recorded Thursday, with five being announced Friday.

The KCDC said that as of early Saturday, the virus, which is thought to have originated in Wuhan, China, killed 259 people and infected around 12,000 people worldwide.

A staff member at Seoul National University Hospital in Bundang, south of Seoul, is in a full protective suit waiting to check people entering the entrance on Jan. 29, 2020. (Yonhap)


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