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South Korea to declare "special disaster zone" admist Covid-19 escalation

08:33 | 14/03/2020

By declaring "special disaster zone", South Korea's epicenter Daegu and nearby North Gyeongsang Province will receive more rapid emergency relief and better administrative and financial support. 

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Photo: Yonhap News.

"Procedures are underway in relation to the declaration" of Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and the province as special disaster zones," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said at an interagency meeting on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic that was held in the city on Thursday, March 12.

Chung said he would soon make a formal suggestion to President Moon Jae-in for the declaration.

The daily number of people recovering from the novel coronavirus has surpassed the country's daily number of new infections for the first time in 54 days with more than 170 leaving quarantine while a little over 100 were diagnosed.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people released from quarantine on Friday after making a full recovery posted 177, raising the cumulative total to 510.

It marks the first time the figure surpassed the daily growth of new cases since the nation began to report more than 100 new cases a day.

An additional 110 COVID-19 cases were also confirmed, bringing the country’s total to over 7,979

Of the new cases, 65 were from Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, while Seoul and Gyeonggi Province posted 13 and seven, respectively, due to a cluster of infections at an insurance call center in southwestern Seoul.

The number of virus-related deaths nationwide rose to 68.

VNF/Korea Times/KBS World