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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:30 March 09, 2020

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Monday.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks dip more than 4 pct to 6-month low on virus fears, oil crash

SEOUL -- South Korean shares tumbled by more than 4 percent on Monday as foreign investors went on a massive selling spree in the face of growing coronavirus concerns and a crash in oil prices. The Korean won sharply fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) plunged 85.45 points, or 4.2 percent, to 1,954.77, its lowest point since August 29 last year, when the index closed at 1,933.41 points.

Foreign stock sell-off hits record high amid growing virus angst, oil crash

SEOUL -- Foreign investors' sell-off of South Korean stocks reached a record high on Monday as investors rushed to pull out of emerging markets amid the growing coronavirus scare and a sharp decline in oil prices, according to the country's bourse operator.

Offshore investors sold a net 1.31 trillion won (US$1.09 billion) worth of South Korean stock, the largest daily sell-off since the Korea Exchange (KRX) began tracking the data in 1999.

S. Korea to use chartered flight to bring home about 80 citizens from coronavirus-hit Iran

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to use a chartered flight to bring home about 80 citizens from Iran this week as the Middle Eastern country has seen a sharp rise in new coronavirus cases amid a shortage of medicine and protective gear, a foreign ministry official said Monday.

Among about 220 South Koreans in Iran, some 80 citizens have applied to take the flight, the official said, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country reportedly exceeded 6,500, with nearly 200 deaths as of Sunday.

China to send relief items to S. Korea amid anti-virus efforts

SEOUL -- China is preparing to send masks and other relief items to South Korea to help the neighboring country fight the coronavirus, the foreign ministry said Monday.

China plans to send about 1 million medical masks, 100,000 general face masks and 10,000 items of protective clothing to Korea through the Red Cross, the ministry said in a release. The two countries are discussing details, it said.

(LEAD) S. Korea, Japan enforce mutual entry restrictions, casting clouds over bilateral ties

SEOUL -- South Korea and Japan began enforcing entry restrictions against each other's citizens ostensibly over new coronavirus concerns Monday, casting a pall over their relations already frayed by a protracted row over trade and wartime history.

Tokyo suspended its visa waiver program for South Koreans and started asking them to stay at designated facilities for two weeks and refraining from using public transportation. Moreover, it allows flights from Korea to land only in Narita Airport near Tokyo and Osaka's Kansai Airport.

(LEAD) 106 countries, territories restricting entry from virus-hit S. Korea

SEOUL -- Two more countries have joined the list of countries and territories imposing entry restrictions or tougher quarantine procedures on people from South Korea over coronavirus concerns, putting the tally at 106, foreign ministry data showed Monday.

As of 2 p.m., Grenada and Barbados, island nations in the Caribbean, were added to the list of 47 countries and territories requiring or recommending self-quarantine and imposing stricter immigration controls for people who have been in Korea at least in the past two weeks, according to the ministry website.

Virus patients to face fines over info concealment

SEOUL/SEJONG -- South Korean health authorities warned Monday that any new coronavirus patients will face fines for concealing their travel history, residences and other important information.

The measure comes as a 78-year-old patient at a Seoul hospital was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Sunday. But despite repeated inquiries, the virus patient misled the hospital staff and gave incorrect information about her residence and other details.

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