UPDATE : Friday, February 21, 2020
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South Korea raises alert level of coronavirus
  • By Shim Hyun-tai
  • Published 2020.01.21 18:30
  • Updated 2020.01.22 06:30
  • comments 0

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) raised its alert level from “blue” to “yellow” on Tuesday after reporting the first confirmed case of a new coronavirus broken out in Wuhan, China.

It will operate the preventive service task forces both on national and regional levels to strengthen the monitoring of and response to the disease.

The Incheon International Airport Quarantine Office quarantined and inspected visitors from Wuhan, China, on Jan. 19 and classified those with symptoms, including fever, as “patient under investigation (PUI).” PUIs were transferred to Incheon Medical Center.

KCDC conducted a new coronavirus infection test and confirmed the first confirmed case on Monday morning.

The confirmed patient is a 35-year old Chinese woman who developed the disease on Jan. 18 and went to a doctor in Wuhan because of symptoms such as fever, chill, and muscle ache. The doctor first diagnosed it as flu, however.

She neither visited the Wuhan traditional market nor contacted confirmed patients and wild-animals, and the central epidemiology investigator is conducting an in-depth investigation.

The KCDC identified the confirmed patient in the quarantine and isolated her from the local community. People who have come into contact with the patient, including passengers and aircraft crew, were undergoing investigation and further monitoring.

"To detect the virus early and prevent its spread, we will strengthen the cooperation among related agencies, local governments, medical communities, and civilian experts," the KCDC said.

The KCDC is running the central preventive service task force and expanded the operation of a 24-hour emergency response system by strengthening the patient monitoring, management, and diagnosing suspected cases.

The municipal and provincial governments also plan to run local preventive service task forces and 24-hour emergency response systems to reinforce patient monitoring patients and management of contact in local communities during the lunar New Year's holidays.

The KCDC stressed that cooperation from civilians and medical communities is crucial for the early detection and the prevention of infection of the virus.

shim531@docdocdoc.co.kr

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