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(LEAD) S. Korea's confirmed coronavirus cases unchanged at 28, 4 recovered

All News 10:43 February 12, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info from 3rd para; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Wednesday the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus remains unchanged from the previous day at 28, with four patients having recovered and been released from hospitals.

On Tuesday, the country reported one more case of the new strain of virus and another virus-infected patient was released after making a full recovery, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Health authorities said more people are expected to be discharged from hospitals later in the day.

Workers disinfect a market in the southern city of Gwangju, South Korea, Feb. 11, 2020, amid fears over the spreading new coronavirus. (Yonhap)

The number of people tested for the coronavirus reached 5,074 as of early Wednesday, with 4,054 of them testing negative, sharply up from 3,535 earlier in the day, the KCDC said in a statement. Another 992 are currently in quarantine.

In an enhanced effort to stem spread of the virus, strict quarantine screening was enforced against entrants from Hong Kong and Macao, in addition to mainland China, starting earlier in the day.

The strict screening measure comes after reports that the country's 26th and 27th confirmed patients stayed in China's Guangdong province and traveled via Macao.

Passengers from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao are required to use separate arrival counters at international airports across the country, according to the KCDC.

They must also write a special quarantine report, filling out health questionnaires to check whether they have a fever or respiratory problems, officials said. They must also disclose any visits to Hubei province -- the epicenter of the global outbreak -- in the past two weeks.

Those who fail to provide their mobile phone numbers and the address of their local accommodations are banned from entering the country, officials said.

Meanwhile, the country's third evacuation flight from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan arrived back in Seoul earlier in the day, carrying about 140 South Korean citizens, their Chinese spouses and family members, with five of them showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

khj@yna.co.kr
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