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(2nd LD) S. Korea reports 3 more cases of novel coronavirus, total now at 15

All News 11:54 February 02, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 3-8)

SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Sunday reported three more cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total here to 15, amid concerns over person-to-person transmission.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said the 13th case involved a 28-year-old man who was one of the 368 Koreans that were brought back from the Chinese city of Wuhan on Friday.

The man had been initially moved to a state run facility in Asan, 90 kilometers southwest of Seoul on Friday, as he showed no symptoms upon arrival.

But he complained of feeling ill the following day and tested positive for the coronavirus. He has since been transported to a hospital in Seoul and quarantined, the public health agency said.

"Of the first batch of people airlifted, all with the exception of the 13th patient have tested negative for the virus," the center said. Of the 333 Koreans flown back Saturday, seven have undergone a detailed examination that turned out negative, with tests on the remaining 326 ongoing."

A South Korean man, who was among passangers airlifted on a chartered plane from Wuhan, China, and showed signs of illness, arrives at the National Medical Center in Seoul on Feb. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)

The country's 14th case is a 40-year-old Chinese woman who is a family member of the Chinese man diagnosed with the new coronavirus strain here Saturday.

The man, the country's 12th case, worked as a tour guide in Japan and came in contact with a Japanese man who was also diagnosed with the infection. The Chinese man arrived in South Korea on Jan. 19, but he was symptom-free upon arrival.

The center said the patient has been in contact with 138 who are being monitored.

The 15th case is a 43-year-old South Korean man who was in Wuhan, the epicenter of the current outbreak, and returned Jan. 20. Authorities said he is under observation.

The KCDC said it is tracking the movements of all new patients to determine where they were and whom they met, with information to be made public as soon as possible.

Seoul said that as of early Sunday, the new coronavirus has been reported in 26 countries and has affected over 14,500 people. It said the death toll stands at 304, with all fatalities occurring in China.

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