Amid coronavirus outbreak, the United States and South Korea reportedly said that they are considering scaling back military command post-training for this spring. While speaking at a news conference, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the commander of US forces in South Korea, General Robert Abrams and the head of joint chiefs of staff, General Park Han-ki, are looking at scaling back the military exercise due to the concerns about the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
According to international media reports, it is also believed that the two countries have scaled back traditional joint military exercises so as to facilitate US nuclear talks with North Korea. However, Esper's South Korea counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, reportedly said that 13 servicemen from his country have become infected with the virus. He further added that all leave for the military has also been cancelled nationwide so as to limit soldier's movement.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in also raised the alert level to 'highest' as the number of infected people in the nation soared to 833, with eight people dead. It also became the second-highest country with the most confirmed cases outside China.
On the other hand, China's President Xi Jinping reportedly said that the epidemic is communist China's 'largest public health emergency' since its founding in 1949. Jinping further called the outbreak a 'crisis' and said that the epidemic has the 'fastest transmission' and the widest range of infection which has been the most difficult to prevent and control.
Meanwhile, the death toll in China has surpassed 2,600 and the National Health Commission reportedly confirmed 508 new cases. The total number of confirmed cases within China also hit nearly 77,000. 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 and more than 1,700 people have recovered from the disease, whereas, nearly 12,500 Coronavirus patients have by now been reportedly discharged from hospitals.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also claimed that the biggest fear for the organisation is that the virus will continue to spread to other countries and especially those with weaker health systems. Furthermore, the organisation has also called on the world to pledge $675 million in support of the most vulnerable countries.