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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:14 March 11, 2020

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

(5th LD) S. Korea's virus cases rebound amid cluster infection in Seoul

SEOUL -- South Korea reported an uptick in new daily coronavirus cases Wednesday, reversing five straight days of fewer new cases, as the country grapples with clusters of infections in Seoul and neighboring areas.

The 242 new cases, which were detected Tuesday, brought the nation's total number of infections to 7,755, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Foreign countries begin granting businesspeople exceptions to entry restrictions on S. Koreans: ministry

SEOUL -- A few countries have allowed in businesspeople from South Korea in exceptions to their coronavirus entry restrictions, a foreign ministry official said Wednesday, pledging greater efforts to make such exceptions a standard practice.

The ministry said earlier that the government is in consultations with some 20 countries to explore ways to allow entry for at least businesspeople seeking to travel overseas for work, on the condition that they are cleared of symptoms.

(2nd LD) USFK commander calls for high vigilance against coronavirus

SEOUL -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Commander Gen. Robert Abrams called Wednesday for his troops to stay vigilant against the new coronavirus despite the downward trend in new infections in South Korea while ensuring at the same time that they are ready to "fight tonight."

"We are not out of the woods yet," Abrams said on a radio program of American Forces Network (AFN) Korea. "We have been working on this 24/7 with what we call enhanced watch teams at every level."

Reopening Kaesong Complex to produce masks unlikely at this point: unification ministry

SEOUL -- The unification ministry on Wednesday brushed aside calls to reopen a shuttered inter-Korean industrial complex in North Korea for anti-coronavirus mask production, citing challenges such as the need for workers from the two sides to stay in close contact.

A growing number of people are asking for operations to resume at the factory park in the North's border city of Kaesong, as the South has been struggling to address mask shortages in the wake of the massive outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

(2nd LD) 116 countries, territories restricting entry from coronavirus-hit S. Korea

SEOUL -- A total of 116 countries and territories were imposing entry restrictions or tougher quarantine procedures for people from South Korea over coronavirus concerns on Wednesday, as a few more nations in Africa and the Caribbean have joined the list.

As of 3 p.m., 43 countries and territories were barring the entry of travelers who have been in South Korea, China, Japan and other virus-hit countries, up from the previous day's tally of 40, according to the foreign ministry website.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks tumble to 4-year low, Korean won up

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks dropped by almost 3 percent on Wednesday to hit the lowest in almost 4 years on growing skepticism about the U.S.'s stimulus plans to counter the new coronavirus and an extended sell-off by foreign investors. The Korean won rose slightly against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 54.66 points, or 2.78 percent, to 1,908.27, the lowest level since February 17, 2016, when the index closed at 1,883.94 points. The index dipped to as low as 1,898.27 points at one point.

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