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(2nd LD) No new coronavirus infections reported for 2nd day, total unchanged at 28

All News 11:54 February 13, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 4-10; photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Thursday reported no new novel coronavirus cases after the latest case was identified on Tuesday, and the number of cases here remained unchanged at 28.

As of Thursday morning, the number of people being checked for the COVID-19 virus under quarantine came to 670, down from 785 on Wednesday, with seven patients having recovered and been released from hospitals, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

South Korean health authorities disinfect streets to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Seoul on Feb. 13, 2020. (Yonhap)

The country has tested 5,769 people for the new coronavirus, with 5,099 of them testing negative.

The KCDC said all 147 evacuees who arrived in Seoul from the Chinese city of Wuhan on Wednesday tested negative for the potentially fatal illness.

Among them, five evacuees -- three South Koreans and two Chinese nationals -- showed symptoms of the novel coronavirus upon their arrival and were transferred to a hospital, but they tested negative for the virus, health authorities said.

The evacuees, comprised of South Korean nationals, their Chinese spouses and family members, are currently staying at a temporary shelter in Icheon, 80 kilometers south of Seoul, where they need to be monitored for 14 days, the virus' incubation period.

The KCDC said the country will double its supply of coronavirus test kits, to test 10,000 people a day.

South Korea also announced a protocol for coronavirus treatment as recommended by its clinical task force.

Under the proposed protocol, doctors can give the anti-HIV medication Kaletra twice a day to those who show severe symptoms of the coronavirus. South Korea's third patient was released from a hospital Wednesday after being administered with Kaletra.

The drug can be replaced with Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine, both used for treatment of malaria, according to the task force.

South Korea's health authorities disinfect seats at a gymnasium in Suwon, south of Seoul, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on Feb. 13, 2020. (Yonhap)

South Korea has been beefing up its effort to stem spread of the virus. Starting from Wednesday, strict quarantine screening was enforced against entrants from Hong Kong and Macao, in addition to mainland China.

Passengers from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao are now required to use separate arrival counters at international airports across the country and must write a special quarantine report, filling out health questionnaires to check whether they have a fever or respiratory problems.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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