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The updates on COVID-19 in Korea as of 23 March
  • Date2020-03-23 18:02
  • Update2020-03-23 18:02
  • DivisionDivision of Risk assessment and International cooperation
  • Tel043-719-7556
  • 5,921

Updates on COVID-19 in Republic of Korea

23 March, 2020



As of 0:00, 23 March 2020, a total of 8,961 cases (including 144 imported cases) have been confirmed, of which 3,166 cases have been discharged from isolation. Newly confirmed cases are 64 in total.

 

[Table 1. Total confirmed and suspected cases]

Period

(since 3 Jan)

Total

Tested positive

Being tested

Tested negative

Confirmed

Discharged

Isolated

Deceased

As of 0:00

22 March (Sun)

331,780

8,897

2,909

5,884

104

14,540

308,343

As of 0:00

23 March (Mon)

338,036

8,961

3,166

5,684

111

13,628

315,447

Change

+6,256

+64

+257

-200

+7

-912

+7,104

 

Epidemiological links have been found for 81.1% of the total cases; 18.9% are either under investigation or sporadic cases. More details on the epidemiological links within each province or city are shown in Table 2.

 

From Guro-gu call center in Seoul, 4 additional cases (11th floor = 1; contacts = 3) were confirmed. The current total is 156 confirmed cases since 8 March. (11th floor = 94; 10th floor = 2; 9th floor = 1; contacts = 59)

 

From Grace River Church in Gyeonggi Province, 4 additional cases were confirmed. The current total is 70 confirmed cases since 9 March. Investigation on recently visited locations and contact tracing of the newly confirmed cases is underway.

 

In Daegu, testing has been completed for every person at high-risk facilities. On 22 March, 4 additional cases were confirmed from 2 convalescent hospitals.

 

Starting 22 March, the KCDC is conducting COVID-19 diagnostic testing for every inbound traveler entering from Europe. On the first day (22 March), of the 1,442 inbound travelers from Europe, 152 were symptomatic and were quarantined and tested at airport quarantine facility. The other 1,290 travelers were asymptomatic and were moved to a temporary living facility to be tested, 6 of whom returned home after their test results returned negative at 19:00 yesterday. Remaining test results are pending. Travelers who test negative will enter home quarantine (Korean citizens and foreigners with domestic residence) or strengthened active monitoring (foreigners on a short-term trip). Confirmed but mild cases will be transferred to Life Treatment Centers. Severe confirmed cases will be transferred to hospitals by emergency transportation. Travel histories of all inbound travelers will be provided to healthcare providers via the International Traveler Information System (DUR/ITS) for reference.

 

Noting that 14 of the 64 (21.9%) new confirmed cases are imported cases, the KCDC urged international travelers to practice extra caution and care. The KCDC strongly recommended that all non-urgent international travel plans be canceled or postponed. Persons who are unable to avoid traveling for a critical reason are advised to refrain from visiting any enclosed facilities or healthcare facilities. Upon entering Korea, they should voluntarily disclose any symptoms and their international travel history and follow appropriate guidelines and instructions, including minimizing movement and physical interpersonal contact for 14 days.

 

Any person who suspect onset of COVID-19 symptoms are advised to call the KCDC call center (1339) or local call centers (area code + 120), ask a local public health center, or visit a screening facility, before visiting a regular healthcare provider directly. All persons who visit a screening center should arrive wearing a mask and in their own car if possible, and disclose their international travel history to the healthcare professionals.

 

The KCDC also advised employers to ensure that employees returning from international business trips do not return to their office for the first 2 weeks upon their return.

 

In light of the continued emergence of outbreaks in various venues such as religious facilities and workplaces, the KCDC urged everyone to participate in enhanced social distancing campaign for the next 15 days (22 March 5 April). Citizens are advised to stay home as much as possible other than for going to work, visiting a healthcare provider, and purchasing necessities. Working citizens are asked to maintain a distance during lunch breaks, refrain from using break rooms and other social venues, and pay closer attention to maintaining personal hygiene (e.g. washing hands). Employers are advised to implement various methods of minimizing person-to-person contact for employees, such as work-from-home and flexible hours systems. Those who show symptoms should be advised not to show up at work. Workers who develop symptoms mid-day should be sent home immediately. The government has limited the operation of high-risk facilities including religious facilities, some indoor fitness facilities, and nightlife venues. Venues that remain in operation must strictly adhere to infection prevention measures (e.g. disinfecting, ventilation, distancing, mask wearing) set by the authorities.

 

The KCDC thanked Korean citizens for their active cooperation in the efforts to prevent and limit the transmission of COVID-19 and asked citizens to participate in the concentrated social distancing campaign until 5 April.

 

Citing the recent incidents of misinformed use of salt water sprays and methanol, the KCDC stated that the spread of COVID-19-related misinformation (“infodemic”) is posing a threat to the safety of citizens and stressed that it is important to check the reliability of the sources of the information they receive from word of mouth, social media, online videos and forums, and news media. The KCDC asked citizens who come across suspicious COVID-19-related information to check the sources of information and confirm the validity of information by utilizing resources such as official websites of KCDC and the Ministry of Health and Welfare and infectious disease call center (1339).

 

As part of the 15-day enhanced social distancing measures for 22 March 5 April, starting today, the daily afternoon press briefings will be conducted without face-to-face interaction. During the question and answer time, reporters will ask questions via online group chat room. The questions will be delivered in real time and will be answered verbally during the briefing session as much as possible in a continued effort to maintain transparent communication.



[Table 2. Regional distribution and epidemiological links of the confirmed cases]

Region

Sub-

total

Epidemiological links

Others*

Newly confirmed

n

(%)

Details

Seoul

330

233

(70.6%)

Guro-gu call center (95), Dongan Church-PC Cafe (20), Eunpyeong St Mary’s Hospital (14), Seongdong-gu APT (13), Jongno-gu (10), Shincheonji (6), Seongnam Grace River Church (4), etc.

97

(29.4%)

6

Busan

109

78

(71.6%)

Onchun Church (32), Shincheonji (11), Suyeong-gu Kindergarten (5), Haeundae-gu Jangsan Catholic Church (4), Jin-gu private academy (4), Daenam Hospital (1), etc.

31

(28.4%)

1


Daegu

6,411

5,334

(83.2%)

Shincheonji (4,383), contacts of confirmed cases (699), Hansarang Convalescent Hospital (92), Daesil Convalescent Hospital (66), KimSin Recuperation Hospital (30), Kwak’s Hospital (15), Baesung Hospital (11), etc.

1,077

(16.8%)

24

Incheon

40

32

(80.0%)

Guro-gu call center (20), contacts of confirmed cases (6), company in Seocho-gu (3), Shincheonji (2), existing imported cases (1)

8

(20.0%)

0

Gwangju

19

15

(78.9%)

Shincheonji (9), contacts of confirmed cases (5), existing imported cases (1)

4

(21.1%)

0

Daejeon

24

13

(54.2%)

contacts of confirmed cases (9), Shincheonji (2), Seosan research center (2)

11

(45.8%)

0

Ulsan

36

26

(72.2%)

Shincheonji (16), contacts of confirmed cases (10)

10

(27.8%)

0

Sejong

42

38

(90.5%)

Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (29), gym facilities (8), Shincheonji (1)

4

(9.5%)

1

Gyeonggi

351

286

(81.5%)

Seongnam Grace River Church (63), Bundang Je-saeng Hospital (42), Guro-gu call center-Bucheon SaengMyeongSu Church (41), Shincheonji (29), Suwon SaengMyeongSaem Church (12), Hyo-sarang Nursing Home in Gunpo (7), etc.

65

(18.5%)

14

Gangwon

30

21

(70.0%)

Shincheonji (20), gym facilities in Cheonan (1)

9

(30.0%)

0

Chung-
buk

37

30

(81.1%)

Shincheonji (11), Goesan-gun Jangyeon-myeon (11), contacts of confirmed cases (8)

7

(18.9%)

2

Chung-
nam

120

112

(93.3%)

Gym facilities in Cheonan (103), Seosan research center (8), Seongnam Grace River Church (1)

8

(6.7%)

0

Jeon-buk

10

4

(40.0%)

Contacts of confirmed cases (2), existing imported cases (1), Shincheonji (1)

6

(60.0%)

0

Jeon-
nam

6

4

(66.7%)

Shincheonji (1), existing imported cases (1), contacts of confirmed cases (2)

2

(33.3%)

0

Gyeong-
buk

1,256

921

(73.3%)

Shincheonji (530), Cheongdo Daenam Hospital (120), Bonghwa Pureun Nursing Home (68), pilgrimage to Israel (49), Seo Recuperation Hosopital in Gyeongsan (32), Milal Shelter (27), Gyeongsan Seorin Nursing Home (25), Gyeongsan Cham Joeun Community Center (18), etc.

335

(26.7%)

2

Gyeong-
nam

89

72

(80.9%)

Shincheonji (32), Geochang Church (10), Geochang Woongyang-myeon (8), Hanmaeum Changwon Hospital (7), Changyeong coin karaoke (7), contacts of confirmed cases (6), Busan Oncheon Church (2)

17

(19.1%)

1

Jeju

4

-

-

 

4

(100.0%)

0

Airport

47

47

(100.0%)

Imported cases (47)

-

-

13

Total

8,961

7,266

(81.1%)

Shincheonji 5,054 cases (56.4%)

1,695

(18.9%)

64

* Not classified into a cluster or under investigation

The interim classification is based on the reporting location, which may change depending on further epidemiological investigation.


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