South Korean Soldier Tests Positive For Coronavirus; Hubei Reports 411 New Cases, 115 Deaths

Thursday, February 20, 2020
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Thu, 02/20/2020


Iran confirms 5 cases of COVID-19
South Korean soldier tests positive
Hubei reports 411 new cases, 115 deaths
Japanese officials defend their handling of ‘Diamond Princess’ quarantine
Beijing tightens lockdown after dozens more cases reported
As outbreak ex-China accelerates, WHO warns case #s “won’t stay low for long.”
Hong Kongers evacuated from ‘Diamond Princess’ after Japanese government confirms 2 deaths
Researchers confirm COVID-19 more contagious than SARS and MERS
Tim Cook welcomes back employees, customers as Apple reopens some China stores
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Update (1820ET): Speak of the devil…

Just minutes after we posted our last update, where we pointed out that officials in Hubei were late with their nightly numbers, they finally arrived.

Hubei reported another 411 new ‘confirmed’ cases, along with 115 new deaths, slightly higher than the average from the last few days. Another1,451 patients were discharged, allowing Beijing to stick with its narrative that more patients are recovering than catching the virus, a sign that the outbreak is abating.

Not like it matters. After China changed its criteria for which cases are counted in the official total for the second time in a week yesterday, the world has shifted its focus to the outbreak outside China, specifically South Korea and Japan.

The new numbers bring the global total of confirmed cases north of 76,000, with 2,147 deaths.

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Update (1815ET): Yonhap is reporting that the first case of coronavirus among a member of the South Korean military has been detected.

That’s bad news, mostly because soldiers tend to live in crowded barracks, typically in close proximity to other soldiers.

Which is exactly what Yonhap reported. They also reported that the soldier likely picked up the virus during a visit to his hometown of Daegu, the city at the center of South Korea’s outbreak.

A Navy sailor on the southern island of Jeju was confirmed Friday to have contracted the new coronavirus in the first confirmed case among service personnel in South Korea, officials said.

The sailor, 22, tested positive for COVID-19 in the initial examination the previous day and was finally confirmed earlier in the day, according to the officials.

He visited his hometown, Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, from Feb. 13 to Tuesday. Upon returning to the base, he showed symptoms, such as coughing, prompting the authorities to immediately quarantine him at the base. He is now at a Jeju hospital.

It is yet to be known exactly how he contracted the virus. But South Korea has seen a surge in patients in Daegu and the surrounding North Gyeongsang Province in recent days, as the country’s 31st patient attended a church service, along with around 1,000 others. As of late Thursday, the total number of confirmed cases stood at 104, according to health authorities.

In the wake of high chances of the first coronavirus case among service personnel, the defense ministry decided late Thursday to restrict all enlisted soldiers from vacationing and staying outside their base to meet visitors starting Saturday.

Over in Beijing and Wuhan, the world is eagerly awaiting the latest round of numbers. The usually arrive around 5:30 ET – meaning that they’re already officially late.

With all the attention paid to yesterday’s decision to once again change their criteria for counting virus cases, officials must be taking their time making up the numbers tonight.

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