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(2nd LD) S. Korea releases first fully recovered coronavirus patient from hospital

All News 17:46 February 05, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline; UPDATES with more details 6-8)

SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday discharged a man from hospital who recovered after being infected with coronavirus amid concerns over further spread of the virus, a state-run medical center said.

The 55-year-old South Korean, who had been to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, returned home on Jan. 22 and tested positive for the illness two days later. He was the country's second confirmed case after the first one was reported on Jan. 20.

He is also the first patient of the 18 infected cases to be released from a hospital.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that the man met the conditions to be released after testing negative in consecutive tests. Typically, those diagnosed with infectious diseases are considered to be fully recovered if they test negative twice within a 24-hour span.

The doctor in charge of the man's case said in a press conference that he has completely recovered and poses very little risk of spreading the infection.

The agency said all are in a stable condition and that the person in the country's first case is likely to be released from hospital on Thursday.

The 35-year-old Chinese woman, diagnosed with the illness on Jan. 20, had showed no symptoms of the virus as of Monday.

Health authorities said that while there are rules in place on discharging patients, they listened to expert opinion before deciding to let the man go and that others who meet the criteria will be discharged as well.

The release comes as the country reported two more confirmed cases that brought the total to 18. One of the new infections involved a South Korean man who recently visited Singapore.

(2nd LD) S. Korea releases first fully recovered coronavirus patient from hospital - 1

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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