Amid the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in raised the alert level to 'highest' as the number of infected people in the nation soared to 556. On February 23, South Korea also reported two more deaths and 123 new coronavirus infections. It also became the second-highest country with the most confirmed cases outside China.
Meanwhile, according to Hubei's health commission, the death toll in China has also risen to over 2,400. The authorities further reported 630 new confirmed cases which brought the total within China to nearly 77,000. However, China has reported a significant decline in new cases as well as deaths caused by the deadly virus.
The recent two death in South Korea took the nationwide death toll to four and the out of the two who died, one was admitted at a hospital in Cheongdo province. The city is also linked to a religious sect which has, till now reported around 100 cases of the deadly virus. Among the latest infections, 75 were involved in Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southern city of Daegu, as per international media quoting the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The South Korean authorities have further described the situation in Daegu as a 'super-spreading event'. On Thursday the shopping malls and cinemas of the city of approximately 2.5 million people were left deserted. Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin has also reportedly requested residents to stay indoors.
While speaking to a media outlet, Kwon also said that the city was in an 'unprecedented crisis' and that is why the authorities have asked them to stay at home isolated from their families. A media report claims that around 9,300 Shincheonji members have been put into self-isolation and will be tested. Furthermore, the church in Daegu has closed all its facilities nationwide and in a statement requested people to avoid public places and public transportation, including stores, restaurants, subways and other heavily congested areas.
First detected in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei Province of China, the virus outbreak has now spread across more than 25 countries since December 2019. More than 1,700 people have recovered from the disease, whereas, nearly 12,500 coronavirus patients have by now been discharged from hospitals. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has dubbed the virus as COVID-19.