Tourism Sector Reels from New Coronavirus Outbreak | Be Korea-savvy

Daniel Fowler
February 28, 2020

The United States and South Korea postponed joint military exercises that had been slated to start next week due to the coronavirus crisis, the allies said Thursday as the us military reported a local employee had tested positive in the southeastern city of Daegu.

South Korea reported another 334 new coronavirus cases, pushing its total to 1,595, the most in any country other than China.

In this February 21, 2020, photo, a South Korean marine wearing a mask stands in front of the Navy Base after a soldier of the unit was confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus on Jeju Island, South Korea.

Germany, which has around 20 cases, said it was already impossible to trace all chains of infection, and Health Minister Jens Spahn urged regional authorities, hospitals and employers to review their pandemic planning.

The Catholic Church in South Korea said it would suspend all public masses at more than 1,700 churches across the country in response to the contagion.

In Germany, the health minister, Jens Spahn, said the country is at the start of a coronavirus epidemic since the new cases reported can not be linked to China, the virus's source.

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.

"We have contacted those people who are at risk of exposure, and they have been quarantined", the garrison said on its Facebook page, reassuring the 9,000-strong local military community that affected facilities had been cleaned before reopening.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is now found in 37 countries outside of China, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says. Though the number of new infections has declined steadily, that is not the case outside China. The United States is managing 59 cases - majority Americans repatriated from a cruise ship in Japan.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told addressed a news conference his country was preparing for a pandemic, as 23 cases were confirmed. The Indian Ocean island nation made a decision to isolate South Koreans to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Christianity took hold with the general public, especially those who migrated from rural areas to metropolitan areas such as Seoul, after the country entered a high economic growth period in the 1960s following the end of the Korean War, in which United Nations forces were deployed. But Fauci cautioned reporters that in a best-case scenario, "you're talking about a year to a year and a half" before any vaccine would be ready for widespread use.

Trump, who has accused the American media of "panicking markets", said the virus' spread on United States soil was "not inevitable", contradicting a senior health official in his administration.

The virus has rapidly spread in parts of Asia, Europe and the Middle East, even as the number of fresh cases and deaths decline at the disease epicentre in China.

Brazil reported the first case in Latin America, a source said on Wednesday - a 61-year-old who had visited Italy.

"I don't think it's inevitable".

In Bahrain, which confirmed 33 cases as of Thursday morning, authorities halted all flights to Iraq and Lebanon.

Other worries fueling any hysteria are that Iran "seems to be concealing information about the epidemic in line with China's example" and blocking independent reporting of the outbreak, according to Reporters Without Borders.

In addition, the center is tracking and isolating cases when it can, issuing travel advisories for affected countries and taking on the increasingly hard task of preventing the introduction of new cases, most notably at points of entry into the United States, she said. The country on Thursday also confirmed its 13th death; a lot of them are still in and near Daegu.

That closeness is a factor lying behind the South Korean government feeling it has no choice but to give a certain degree of consideration to China while taking tough measures at home to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

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