Published: Thu, February 27, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Number of coronavirus-infected people in South Korea rises to 1,595

Number of coronavirus-infected people in South Korea rises to 1,595

For the first time, the rate of infections in other countries has exceeded those reported by Beijing since the outbreak began.

And in the United States, which has 60 cases, President Donald Trump declared that the USA was "very, very ready" for whatever threat the coronavirus brings, and he put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of overseeing the country's response.

Latin America's first case was confirmed in a 61-year-old man in Sao Paulo, Brazil, who had recently visited Italy, a new front line in the global outbreak. He compared the new virus to the flu, which kills tens of thousands of Americans each year.

Health leaders have said that if coronavirus becomes a global pandemic, then there were a number of contingency plans in place to halt its spread.

Thursday's increase was the biggest reported so far by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which gave a death toll of 12. Schuchat advised people to follow "tried and true, not very exciting" but important precautions: wash your hands, cover your coughs and stay home when you're sick.

Trump told reporters he was open to spending "whatever's appropriate". Health officials have exhausted an initial $105 million in emergency funding and have been looking elsewhere for dollars.

A new coronavirus patient in California could be the first person infected by another individual within the US.

The foreign ministry said it was also suspending visas for tourists visiting from countries where the new virus is a "danger".

The UK Government says that based on current evidence most cases appear to be mild and that those who have died in Wuhan appeared to have pre-existing health conditions.

- What is the UK Government recommending people returning from infected regions do?

It came as President Donald Trump said he is considering travel restrictions on Italy and South Korea.

On Wednesday night the State Department raised its travel advisory caution level for South Korea to the second-highest, now urging Americans to reconsider traveling there.

The CDC later said the latest case caught in California "did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient" - meaning it could represent the first instance of "community spread" in the U.S., though this was not yet confirmed.

The US and South Korean militaries on Thursday postponed forthcoming joint exercises due to the coronavirus outbreak, they said.

A "command post training", usually conducted by members of the two militaries' Combined Forces Command, will be postponed until further notice, the command said.

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South Korea has reported 334 additional cases of the new coronavirus, raising the country's total tally to 1,595, the highest number outside China.

The virus is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late past year.

The country now has a total of 78,497 confirmed cases and 2,744 deaths.

But Tedros also warned that the situation could get worse, saying, "At the same time, all countries, whether they have cases or not, must prepare for a potential pandemic". Health Minister Jens Spahn urged regional authorities, hospitals and employers to review their pandemic planning. According to KCDC, of the new cases, 307 were registered in the city of Daegu, the rest throughout the country reported Sputnik.

And concern mounted further after local authorities said a case of "imported" coronavirus had been found in the northern Ningxia region in a patient who travelled from Iran.

"Using the word pandemic carelessly has no tangible benefit, but it does have a significant risk in terms of amplifying unnecessary and unjustified fear and stigma, and paralyzing systems".

The CDC is employing a twofold approach, working to contain the virus while also implementing strategies to lessen the impacts on communities, Messonnier told reporters. The United States is managing 59 cases - majority Americans repatriated from a cruise ship in Japan.

There is no known vaccine for the virus.

Lee Peters, a US military spokesman, said the postponement decision "was not taken lightly" and that two countries' alliance remains "ironclad and unbreakable".

As the cases have rippled outward, the effects on large gatherings have increased. The International Monetary Fund is considering whether to make its April meeting in Washington virtual, sources said.

"There are now cases linked to Iran in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman", he said, adding, "There are now cases linked to Italy in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Spain and Switzerland".

"It's very scary because everyone is out, in the pool, spreading the virus", said 45-year-old hotel guest Lara Pennington.

It says the soldier was originally based in Camp Caroll in a town near the southeastern city of Daegu, where most of South Korea's virus cases are clustered.

There have been almost 50 deaths outside China, including 11 in Italy and 19 in Iran, the most outside China, according to a Reuters tally.

"The coming week or two is an extremely important time", Abe said.

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