Public/Global Health

Hundreds of new virus cases reported in South Korea, hospital beds full

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South Korea reported hundreds of new coronavirus cases Wednesday, as officials search for more hospital beds.

Another 435 new cases were confirmed, bringing the nation’s total to 5,621, with at least 32 deaths, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, according to multiple reports

Most of the cases were reported in and around South Korea’s fourth-largest city Daegu, where members of a secretive church have been infected. Authorities predict the number of cases will rise in the coming days as 200,000 members of the church and thousands of others are tested, according to Reuters. 

About 2,300 patients are reportedly waiting in temporary medical facilities to be admitted to the hospitals, where beds are currently full. 

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun called for more medical resources and $9.8 billion in stimulus to fight the coronavirus outbreak, saying, “We need special measures in times of emergency.”

“In order to overcome COVID-19 as quickly as possible and minimize the impact on the economy, it is necessary to proactively inject all available resources,” he said, according to Reuters.

At least 92 countries have entry restrictions on travelers coming from South Korea, according to the Yonhap news agency. President Trump said his team has been monitoring South Korea, Italy and Japan, which are experiencing high numbers of coronavirus cases, adding that potential restrictions could come in the future. 

The Trump administration has already restricted travel from Iran and China because of the outbreaks there. Foreign nationals who traveled to the two countries cannot enter the U.S.

The World Health Organization reported that 80 percent of new cases outside of China are in South Korea, Italy and Iran. Iran has recorded the second-most deaths at 92, with 2,922 cases, while Italy ranks third in deaths at 79 with 2,502 cases. 

More than 94,000 people have been infected worldwide with the coronavirus, leading to more than 3,200 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

–Updated at 8:57 a.m.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump hospitals South Korea
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