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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:31 March 05, 2020

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's virus cases near 6,000, another virus-hit city under special care

SEOUL -- South Korea reported 438 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the nation's total number of infections to 5,766, with most new virus infections still identified in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicenter of the virus outbreak here.

The 438 additional cases, which were detected on Wednesday, followed the 516 new cases detected on Tuesday and the 600 on Monday, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Gyeongsan additionally named special care zone over coronavirus

SEOUL -- South Korea's government on Thursday designated Gyeongsan, a southeastern city, as the nation's third "special care zone" over infectious disease in addition to two nearby cities of Daegu and Cheongdo, as new cases of the new coronavirus surged there lately.

Gyeongsan, about 330 kilometers southeast of Seoul and just east of Daegu, has recently reported a surge in new COVID-19 infections from an elderly nursing home and other places.

(LEAD) Biz groups offer dormitories, other facilities for virus treatment centers

SEOUL -- South Korean business groups are offering their training institutes and dormitories to be used as treatment centers for novel coronavirus patients in a move to support local health authorities securing more hospital beds in the country's virus hotspots.

As the number of virus patients soared in Daegu and surrounding North Gyeongsang Province, where more than 80 percent of the country's total infections have been reported, health authorities there have been advising those with mild symptoms to visit designated virus treatment centers so that hospitals can accommodate more elderly patients and those with severe symptoms who need urgent and intensive care.

(2nd LD) Korea's current account surplus narrows sharply in Jan.

SEOUL -- South Korea's current account surplus narrowed sharply in January on shrinking exports, central bank data showed Thursday.

The country's current account surplus came to US$1.01 billion in the month, compared with a surplus of $4.33 billion the previous month and a $3.3 billion surplus the same month last year, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

(LEAD) S. Korea sends 3 teams to Vietnam to help some 270 citizens in coronavirus quarantine

SEOUL -- South Korea sent three "rapid response" teams to Vietnam on Thursday to help more than 270 citizens quarantined over concerns about the new coronavirus.

Upon arrival, the teams will provide consular support to 276 citizens who have been isolated at military installations, health care facilities or hotels, as the number of South Korea's COVID-19 infections stands at 5,766 with 35 deaths.

(LEAD) USFK reports 2 more cases of new coronavirus in Daegu, total now at 6

SEOUL -- Two dependents of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) personnel have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of USFK-related infection cases to six, the military said Thursday.

The fifth patient is a dependent of an active duty service member and the sixth is the spouse of a U.S. Department of Defense civilian employee, both based in the southeastern city of Daegu, according to USFK.

96 countries, territories restricting entry from S. Korea over coronavirus concerns

SEOUL -- A total of 96 countries and territories are imposing entry restrictions or tougher quarantine procedures on people from South Korea on Thursday, amid fears about the new coronavirus outbreaks, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

As of 9 a.m., 36 countries and territories, including Singapore and Hong Kong, had imposed entry bans on people who have traveled to South Korea in the past two weeks, according to the ministry.

S. Korea to evenly supply face masks to public, ban mask exports: prime minister

SEOUL -- South Korea will seek to evenly distribute face masks to people and ban mask exports in principle to better handle a sharp supply shortage amid the fast spread of the new coronavirus, the prime minister said Thursday.

The government has been exploring ways to increase the supply of face masks as demand has far surpassed supply amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

S. Korea to delay rotation of troops in South Sudan over virus concerns

SEOUL -- South Korea has decided to delay the rotational deployment of a new peace-keeping contingent of troops to South Sudan over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, military officials said Thursday.

The 12th batch of about 300 troops had been scheduled to begin shipping out to the African country next week to replace the current contingent of the Hanbit Unit, which has carried out U.N. peacekeeping operations in the war-torn nation since 2013.

(LEAD) New York to recall college students in S. Korea over coronavirus

WASHINGTON -- New York is recalling some 300 college students and faculty in South Korea and four other countries over concerns about the coronavirus, the state's governor said Wednesday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the students of the State University of New York and the City University of New York are being asked to return from their study abroad programs in South Korea, China, Italy, Japan and Iran. Those programs have been suspended, effectively immediately, he said.

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