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(5th LD) S. Korea reports 4 more cases of novel coronavirus, total now at 23

All News 17:23 February 06, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 2, 7, 9-11; ADDS top photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea confirmed four more cases of novel coronavirus infections Thursday, bringing the total here to 23, with one case being a person who initially tested negative for the illness but was found to be infected later in a check-up.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said of the four new cases, three are believed to be person-to-person transmissions involving South Korean nationals, with the other one being a Chinese woman who arrived in the country on a tourist visa on Jan. 23.

The public health agency called for more attention to be paid to people who have already been screened.

A decontamination team wearing protective gear disinfects a store in Naju, 355 kilometers south of Seoul, on Feb. 6, 2020. (Yonhap)

The agency said the 20th patient -- a 41-year-old woman who is a relative of a Korean man who was confirmed to have been infected Sunday -- initially tested negative for the virus, but when she was tested again when she started feeling unwell, she turned out to have been infected.

Her relative is the 15th person to be diagnosed with the virus. He had traveled to Wuhan, the epicenter of the current outbreak, last month.

The 21st case is a 59-year-old woman who came into contact with the country's sixth patient, who in turn got the illness from a person who recently visited China. This person also infected his wife and son.

The 22nd person is a relative of the 16th patient, who had visited Thailand recently.

The KCDC said that all three South Koreans had been in self-quarantine before being diagnosed with the virus. All the newly confirmed cases have been moved to proper quarantine hospitals so they can be monitored and treated.

It also said that all of the 21 people presently in quarantine after having been confirmed to have contracted the virus are in a stable condition. So far two patients have been discharged from hospitals after doctors determined they were cured and posed no health risks to others.

The first person is a 55-year-old man who had visited China, while the second is a 35-year-old Chinese woman who had come from Wuhan.

She was diagnosed with the novel virus on Jan. 20, becoming the first confirmed case of the illness in South Korea. She was treated for pneumonia but has since made a full recovery, with doctors saying they used a human immunodeficiency virus drug on her.

A notice placed on the entrance of the Seoul Medical Center on Feb. 4, 2020, informs people that the center will restrict visitors from seeing patients to reduce the risk of people contracting the novel coronavirus. (Yonhap)

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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