COVID-19 latest: Korea confirms 204 cases of coronavirus after church outbreak

Malls restaurants and streets in Daegu have been largely empty since the outbreak

"At this time, the extent of virus spread is not sustained or widespread enough to meet the criteria for a travel notice", the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated. He also requested all kindergartens in the city be closed.

But the streets were largely deserted around the suspected location of the outbreak, a branch of the Shincheonji Church.

South Korean officials have confirmed 100 new cases of the virus today, 85 of them linked to the secretive church.

South Korea Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun started a government meeting on the health emergency by saying, "We have entered an emergency phase". He pleaded for help from the country's central government. "For the last 12 years, we've really focused on the long-term effects of head trauma, including what we call repetitive head trauma", where the impact doesn't cause a concussion, said McKee, chief of neuropathology at VA Boston University and director of the CTE Center of Boston University.

The South Korea CDC also confirmed additional cases of the virus, raising the country's total to 104.

South Korea has confirmed its first death from the new coronavirus, amid a sharp rise in confirmed cases.

Daegu has emerged as the latest front in the widening global fight against COVID-19, with the city's 2.5 million residents urged to stay inside, wearing masks even indoors to stem further infection.

A 61-year-old woman in Daegu is believed to be at the heart of the rapid spread and is thought to have passed the infection to dozens of fellow worshippers at the controversial Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Patient No. 31 was known to have visited Cheongdo earlier this month, though why and whether she visited Daenam Hospital was not immediately known. The ease with which Chinese can enter North Korea, both legally and illegally, has heightened fears Chinese have spread the virus far inside North Korea by now.

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The US Army garrison in the city - where around 10,000 soldiers, civilians and family members live or work - restricted access and instructed any American troops who had recently attended Shincheonji services to self-quarantine. It brings the total in South Korea to 204. "Military medical personnel will be dispatched and makeshift shelters built for those who can not quarantine themselves". It said in a statement that health officials were disinfecting its church in Daegu and were tracing the woman's contacts. That Daegu church has about 8,000 followers.

The movement, which translates as "new heaven and new earth, ' was established in 1984 and describes its founder Lee as the 'Promised Pastor", an attendant of Jesus.

Scrambling to respond to one of the largest clusters of infection outside China, the government designated Daegu and neighbouring Cheongdo County "special care zones", with plans to send in military medical staff and other health workers, along with extra resources, including hospital beds. Moon cited an examination of visitors' books at hospital funeral halls, according to Moon's office.

The Shincheonji church has announced that it had closed down all of its facilities nationwide.

Health authorities are also trying to monitor thousands of others.

On Friday, Taiwan issued a travel warning for Korea due to the sudden increase in confirmed virus cases.

South Korea on Friday accepted that its efforts to stop the deadly coronavirus from taking hold in the country had failed, and said it would switch its strategy to containment.

Many nations have banned travellers from China and airlines have suspended flights to and from the country.

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