South Korea reports first coronavirus death: health officials

South Korea reports first coronavirus death: health officials

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea on Friday declared the southeast city of Daegu and the surrounding region a "special management zone" after a surge in virus cases that city officials say threaten to overwhelm the region's health system.

Authorities said officials deemed responsible for the outbreaks had been fired and the government had sent a team to investigate the Shandong outbreak, media reported.

He said during the 2003 SARS epidemic and other disease outbreaks, cases in North Korea often went unreported or underreported. He tested positive for the novel virus posthumously after recently experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms, according to The Associated Press.

The infections among members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (Shincheonji) are linked to one woman.

The health authorities reported a total of 51 new cases in Daegu and neighboring North Gyeongsang Province and two in Seoul on Thursday.

A total of 234 infections among Chinese prisoners outside Hubei ended 16 straight days of declines in new mainland cases.

Cities far from the epicentre have limited the number of people who can leave their homes for groceries, while rural villages have sealed off access to outsiders.

Defectors in the South have said North Korea is deeply unprepared to deal with a deadly outbreak, citing inadequate health facilities and weakened immunity among the population due to decades of malnutrition.

The government has instructed about a thousand other people known to have gone to the church for services to stay at home under an isolation program. The company told the worker's associates to self-quarantine and will test them for the virus, and will also keep the relevant floor closed until the 25th.

North Korea has imposed a strict quarantine around foreigners or returning nationals who display fever on entering the country, but has found no cases of coronavirus yet, its envoy to the United Nations in Geneva said on Wednesday.

Jahanpur said all patients were Iranian and the person in the central city of Arak was a doctor from Qom, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported. Health officials on Thursday called for all religious gatherings the holy city of Qom to be suspended.

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