China, South Korea see slight rise in coronavirus cases

By Islamuddin Sajid

ANKARA (AA) – As the epicenter of the new coronavirus has shifted to Europe and the U.S., Chinese and South Korean health authorities on Saturday reported slight rise in new cases.

According to China’s National Health Commission (NHC), 46 new cases were reported Friday on the Chinese mainland and Xinjiang region, with 42 of them having recently returned from abroad.

Three new deaths were reported in the central Hubei province. The novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, in December.

On Thursday, 42 new cases were confirmed on the mainland China, with one death from Wuhan.

The NHC data showed imported cases on the Chinese mainland increasing day by day as the total number of imported cases went up to 1,141, however no death was reported in the imported infections so far and 408 were discharged from hospitals after successfully having recovered.

China so far confirmed nearly 82,000 cases and some 3,300 deaths, according to the NHC, while more than 77,000 patients successfully recovered and were discharged from hospital.

– South Korea

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the total numbers of infections in the country rose to 10,480 with 30 new cases.

On Thursday, Seoul reported 27 cases, the lowest daily figure since Feb. 20.

The number of deaths rose to 211 after three more people died on Friday, said the KCDC.

On Friday, 91 people who were thought to have recovered from coronavirus tested positive for the second time in South Korea.

Those who tested positive for the second time account for 1% of the total recoveries, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Meanwhile, the government decided to introduce electronic wristband for those defying the quarantine orders.

"If people under self-isolation break quarantine rules, such as going outside without notice and not responding to health check calls, they will face legal actions and will be asked to wear the wristbands for the rest of their quarantine period," the agency quoted the KCDC as saying.

The COVID-19 virus has spread to 185 countries and regions in four months.

The pandemic has killed over 103,000 and infected more than 1.7 million, while nearly 379,000 patients have recovered, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.