President Moon urges 'special measures' to contain fallout from deadly virus

19, Feb. 2020

Photo by Jana Sabeth on Unsplash
Photo by Jana Sabeth on Unsplash

SEOUL, AJU - President Moon Jae-in called for special measures to contain the fallout from an unabated coronavirus outbreak as health officials raised awareness about potential preparations for blind infection. The causality of three new cases reported in South Korea remained untraceable, embarrassing epidemiologists.

"We need special measures," Moon told a cabinet meeting at his office on Tuesday, urging government officials to mobilize "every possible means" they can take. "The current situation is much more serious than we thought," he said, adding China-linked supply chains and production activities have been disrupted.

As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed patients in South Korea increased to 31. Health officials are trying hard but they have no idea how three new patients have been infected with the deadly virus. More worrisome is the 31st patient identified as a 61-year-old woman who had been involved in brisk outdoor activities before being guaranteed on February 17.

Before showing symptoms of pneumonia and fever, the woman living in the southeastern city of Daegu was found to have been at a wedding ceremony, a hotel buffet restaurant, a church prayer service using public transportation, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The coronavirus outbreak is "taking a new turn when we look at situations at home and abroad," KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong told a regular press briefing, calling for measures in preparations for potential blind infection.

Since mid-February, Asian countries have reported those infected with the virus without traveling abroad or coming into contact with known patients and virus carriers, Jeong said, adding it's still unclear how the three new patients were infected with COVID-19.