Coronavirus Cases Spike in South Korea, More Than 76k Confirmed Worldwide

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

February 21, 2020

Concern In South Korea As The Wuhan Covid-19 Spreads

The outbreak of the newly discovered COVID-19 coronavirus isn't showing any signs of slowing down as the number of confirmed cases worldwide reached 76,000, according to the latest numbers issued by health officials on Friday. At least 2,200 people have died, with the vast majority of those deaths occurring in mainland China.

The center of the outbreak, the Hubei province in China, is where the vast majority of the cases have been reported, with Chinese health officials revising their numbers from 62,442 to 62,662 as of Friday morning.

South Korea officials confirmed on Friday that the number of cases in their country doubled over night to a total of 204 cases with the vast majority of cases were confirmed in the southern city of Daegu. ABC News reports that 70 percent of confirmed cases are followers of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a religious sect.

Meanwhile, the final few passengers aboard a cruise ship that has been quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, are being allowed to disembark, after the quarantine came to end. Passengers who have tested negative for the virus are being allowed to leave the Diamond Princess, however, they will be required to endure another 14-day quarantine before they're allowed to board a flight home.

The ship is one of the biggest clusters for confirmed cases of the virus outside mainland China after 634 passengers were diagnosed with the disease during the quarantine. Two passengers who were aboard the vessel and tested positive for the virus, have since died.

Eleven of the 13 Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center have tested positive for the disease, officials with the facility said. Ten people have been isolated in the facility's National Quarantine Unit, with three others in the biocontainment unit. The 13 passengers will have to spend at least two weeks in quarantine. Their stay in quarantine could be even longer if they have a positive test.

Another 1,000 passengers who tested negative for the coronavirus but had shared a room with someone who tested positive will be transported to a government facility to be quarantined and monitored for symptoms beginning on Saturday.

In China, the virus has reportedly spread rapidly through four prisons on the mainland, including two in Hubei. The Wuhan Women's prison has reported 230 cases of the virus, while the Shayang Hanjin prison reported 41 on Friday. Rencheng Jail in eastern China reported 207 cases of the disease and another 34 prisoners at Shilifeng jail in Zhejiang province were also confirmed to have the disease.

Photo: Getty Images

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