South Korea declares “red alert” when the country reported more than 600 confirmed cases; President Moon Jae-in empowered his government to lock down cities and towns to stop the spread.
There have been 169 additional cases and four deaths confirmed in the last 24 hours making a total of 602 confirmed cases and six dead. Eighteen were reported to have been treated fully and 8,057 people are suspected to have symptoms are going through tests, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.
Barring the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan, South Korea now has the highest number of infections outside China.
Among the newly confirmed cases were 18 people who had toured Israel and the West Bank on a group pilgrimage for a week earlier this month. It is not clear whether they were infected while in Israel. Tel Aviv authorities on Sunday announced that all foreign nationals who have been to South Korea and Japan in the past 14 days will be banned from entering Israel, according to ABC.
Residents of Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city and the centre of its outbreak, are leaving nothing to chance.
The city’s streets were eerily quiet, with stores and restaurants closed and stations, markets and shopping areas devoid of the usual foot traffic. The few people who dared to venture out were masked and wearing gloves, the Guardian reported.
More than half of all South Korean cases so far have been linked to the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus sect, with over a hundred more cases coming from a mental health ward at Daenam hospital in the nearby town of Cheongdo.
Daenam Hospital normally treats the elderly and people with mental health issues. The hospital has seen more than 110 people infected including nine medical staff.
Officials believe cases at the hospital may be related to a funeral of the sect leader’s brother, held there at the beginning of February.
President Moon Jae-in said the country faced “a grave turning point”, and the next few days would be crucial in the battle to contain the outbreak.
“The Covid-19 incident faces a grave turning point,” President Moon said following a meeting with ministers and experts.
“The next few days will be crucial. The government will raise the alert level to the highest level of ‘grave’ according to experts’ recommendations and drastically strengthen our response system.”
Before the outbreak, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is changing South Korean foreign policy. He has allowed Seoul’s relationship with the United States and Japan to deteriorate while embracing Communist China and North Korea.
Public anger is growing again now over Moon’s health and safety policies amid the respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus from China, Korea Herald reports.
“If the virus had originated from Japan, President Moon would have shortly issued a total ban on entry of Japanese to South Korea,” wrote one sarcastic commentator.
North Korea, despite being a close political ally of China, has closed its borders to visitors from the Chinese mainland. Similar entry bans are in effect in Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Taiwan, where many ethnic Chinese live.
In contrast, as of Feb. 23 at 11 a.m., South Korea was still admitting travelers from China, with the exception of Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital. COVID-19 has spread across South Korea and cases have been reported in all eight major cities, including Seoul and Sejong, as well as nine provinces, including Gyeonggi and Jeju.
Beijing has been using “banning Chinese tourists to the peninsula” to punish South Korea when it dared to criticize Beijing’s military dominance in the Asia Pacific region.
North Korea has kept in the blind with the potential threats from Communist China. Facing an unprecedented national disaster now, the Koreans shall wake up to the alerts and rethink its foreign policy towards the communist power.
Whether Beijing can solve the coronavirus crisis or not, the CCP regime is doomed now as it must take full responsibilities for causing such panic and disasters to the rest of the world.
South Korea is only one of the countries that would curse the CCP leadership and join hands to bring the dictatorship to hell.
By Winnie Troppie