South Korea declares 'war' on coronavirus
Move comes as South Asian nation reports 31 deaths, over 5,000 cases of confirmed COVID-19
ANKARA: South Korea declared a "war" against the coronavirus outbreak as the country recorded 374 new cases of COVID-19, with a death toll of 31 on Tuesday, according to local media.
The South Asian nation’s President Moon Jae-in declared new measures during a meeting with the Cabinet ministers and senior health officials -- all wearing masks -- state-run Yonhap news agency reported.
The report said the death toll from the virus has hit 31, while total number of coronavirus cases in South Korea rose to 5,186, with 374 new cases in the last 16 hours as of 08.37 pm on Tuesday, citing official data from the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
S.Korea coronavirus cases approach 5,000
“The crisis in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province reached its peak, and the whole country has entered a war against the infectious disease,” Moon said referring to the most affected areas in the country.
Also, he ordered all government organisations to shift to a “24-hour emergency situation room system,” said the report.
In addition, due to the deadly and fast-spreading outbreak, South Korea has cancelled some regional events, including Jinhae Gunhangje, Jeju Cherry Blossom and Gurye Sansuyu festivals, held annually across the country to welcome spring.
South Korea is one of the badly affected countries after the mainland China, the epicentre of the new coronavirus that has killed more than 3,000 people across the world.
Outside China, the virus has spread to at least 73 countries, with more than 10,000 infected.
The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan city in China's Hubei province last December.
The World Health Organization, which already declared the outbreak an international health emergency, has updated the global risk level to "very high".