[2019-Novel Coronavirus] Korea confirms no additional coronavirus outbreak

Lee Han-soo  Published 2020.01.23  16:08  Updated 2020.01.24 11:26


The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that it has released all 21 Koreans, classified as having symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, from quarantine after they tested negative for the virus.

KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong explains the agency's plans for containing the coronavirus, during a news briefing held at the Government Office Complex in Jongno-gu, central Seoul, on Thursday.

“All of the 21 subjects tested negative for the virus and were released from quarantine,” KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong said. “Korea is currently not conducting any additional tests related to the coronavirus.”

With all of the suspected coronavirus cases turning out to be negative, Korea has only one confirmed case of the new coronavirus involving a Chinese woman traveling from Wuhan, China. The KCDC confirmed the infection on Monday. The patient is known to be in a stable condition.

The KCDC has also decided to dispatch an epidemiologist to China.

“We are currently in constant contact with the Korean embassy in China,” Jung said. “We hope that the epidemiologists will be able to gather necessary information with Chinese health authorities more efficiently.”

The epidemiologist will also help overseas Koreans residing in China that may be affected by the so-called Wuhan virus, Jung added.

The KCDC also said that it plans to remain on alert to prevent the spread of Wuhan coronavirus during the four-day Lunar New Year holiday, which is celebrated by both Korean and Chinese people.

The agency warned that the traditional holiday, which kicks off Friday, can lead to more people being exposed by the virus due to the massive movement of people in and outside of the country.

“Citizens should follow strict personal hygiene rules whether they are in the country or traveling abroad,” the KCDC said. “Especially, citizens should take extra caution as Korea expects an influx of Chinese tourists during the holiday period.”

The Korea Tourism Organization estimates some 130,000 Chinese people will visit Korea during the holiday season.

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