South Korea is anxious amid confirmations of an increasing number of COVID-19 patients on Sunday as the nation’s total surpasses 500.
Saturday night saw South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun declared that the country was entering “a more grave stage” of the coronavirus outbreak, but he tried to provide some reassurance by saying that the government was making all-out efforts to contain further spread of the disease.
By Sunday morning, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 123 new cases of the novel coronavirus and one additional death.
Four people have now died in the country as at least 556 cases have been confirmed.
Over 300 cases have since been traced to Shincheonji Church in the Daegu after the 61-year-old female super-spreader who attended the church tested positive on Feb. 18. She was South Korea’s 31st confirmed case.
The KCDC said that more than 9,000 church members are now under self-quarantine.
A plane load of travellers from South Korea has also been denied entry by Israel after Israeli authorities were told that nine South Koreans, who had recently traveled in Israel as part of a 77-member group, had tested positive for the virus after returning home, Israeli media reported.
All travelers returning to Israel from both South Korea and Japan are now required to remain in isolation for two weeks after their arrival, according to the Israeli health ministry.
Japan currently has 135 confirmed cases of coronavirus and three deaths.
About 1,000 tourists from South Korea currently in Israel have been told to avoid public places, and to isolate themselves in their hotels, local media reported.