South Korea: Coronavirus cases jump over 200; President Moon Jae-in calls for 'thorough investigation'

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 21, 2020, 09.32 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

President Moon Jae-in called for a 'thorough investigation' of everyone who attended the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Infected people contracted the virus from the Church.

The number of confirmed cases in South Korea jumped to 200 on Friday, making it the worst-affected country outside China.

Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday confirmed a total of 100 new cases out of which 85 connected in the southern city of Daegu. 

Meanwhile, the mayor of South Korea's fourth-biggest city, Daegu, advised locals to stay indoors. Business were remained closed on Friday amid the dears. Access to a major US military base in the area was also restricted.

Meanwhile, President Moon Jae-in called for a "thorough investigation" of everyone who attended the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Infected people contracted the virus from the Church.

"If you simply rely on the information provided by the church, the process can be slow," he told a cabinet meeting. "We need faster measures."

The central government on Friday declared Daegu and Cheongdo "special management zones", with Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun saying the region would be supported with medical personnel, beds and equipment and the cabinet will meet three times a week to discuss the outbreak.

Authorities in Seoul banned public rallies at three main locations on health and safety grounds.

The US army garrison in Daegu -- where around 10,000 soldiers, civilians and family members live or work -- has restricted access and instructed any American troops who recently attended Shincheonji services to self-quarantine.

"Travel in and around Daegu is highly discouraged unless absolutely necessary," the garrison said Thursday in a Facebook post. 

"Please avoid public places and public transportation, to include stores, restaurants, subways and other heavily congested areas."

Shincheonji has closed all its facilities nationwide.

"We are deeply sorry that because of one of our members, who thought of her condition as a cold because she had not travelled abroad, led to many in our church being infected and thereby caused concern to the local community," it said in a statement.

(With inputs from agencies)