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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 16:27 March 24, 2020

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

(LEAD) S. Korea unveils bold virus aid package for financial markets

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday unveiled an emergency aid package worth 42 trillion won (US$34 billion) to help ease the credit crunch and stabilize financial markets hit hard by the spread of the new coronavirus.

The aid package came as the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a harsh blow to South Korean companies as well as local financial markets.

(2nd LD) Stricter containment steps necessary for U.S. arrivals: experts

SEOUL -- While South Korea has been implementing strict quarantine measures against arrivals from Europe, there are also growing calls that the country needs to apply stepped-up quarantine steps, such as virus tests, on passengers coming from the United States, medical experts said Tuesday.

South Korea in recent weeks has been focusing on stemming imported virus cases after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization earlier this month.

Seoul stocks rebound over 8 pct on stimulus measures, Korean won sharply up

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rebounded sharply on Tuesday following the government's expanded financial aid package and stimulus measures around the globe to tackle the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Korean won was also sharply up against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) soared 127.51 points, or 8.60 percent, to close at 1,609.97, rebounding from a 5.3 percent plunge the previous session.

FM Kang to explain S. Korea's anti-coronavirus efforts in WEF video conference

SEOUL -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will explain South Korea's efforts to fight the new coronavirus and call for global solidarity in ending the pandemic in a videoconference of the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week, her office said Tuesday.

On Wednesday (Korea time), Kang is set to join a video-linked session related to the COVID-19 Action Platform, a WEF initiative launched earlier this month to galvanize collective action in responding to the virus.

(3rd LD) New virus cases on downtrend, but imported infections accelerate

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases appeared to be steadily decreasing Tuesday, but imported infections saw their biggest one-day increase as the nation enforced quarantines on arrivals from Europe and other regions.

The 76 new cases, which were detected Monday and were slightly up from the 64 new cases a day earlier, brought the nation's total infections to 9,037, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The death toll rose by 13 to 124 and 62 patients are in critical condition.

(LEAD) Gyeonggi to offer universal basic income to cope with virus fallout

SEOUL -- Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul, announced Tuesday it will pay 100,000 won (US$79.85) per person to all its residents in April to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Gyeonggi will be the first local government in South Korea to provide universal "anti-disaster basic income," while a handful of other municipal entities have recently promised payments to select low-income citizens.

(LEAD) Police release name of digital sex criminal suspect following public outrage

SEOUL -- A police committee on Tuesday agreed to disclose the identity of a man suspected of blackmailing dozens of victims to perform violent sex acts and selling the content in a mobile group chat room in an incident that has shocked the nation and triggered public fury.

At least 74 people, including 16 underage girls, are known to have been exploited in the case that is widely known as the "Nth room case," in which the prime suspect allegedly lured victims into taking naked photos and later threatened them into more gruesome sex acts.

(LEAD) USFK employee tests positive for virus, total at 10

SEOUL -- A U.S. citizen working for U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) has tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of USFK-related infection cases to 10, the military said Tuesday.

The COVID-19 patient, who works at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, is now in isolation at his off-base residence as directed by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), USFK said, adding he last visited the base Friday.

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