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(LEAD) No new coronavirus infection reported for 4th straight day; cases unchanged at 28

11:00 February 15, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in paras 3-5)

SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Saturday reported no additional novel coronavirus case for the fourth day in a row, with the total number of people infected remaining unchanged at 28, according to public health authorities.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said a total of seven patients have been released from hospitals after fully recovering from the COVID-19 virus.

The country has tested a total of 7,519 people for the virus since Jan. 3, with 6,853 turning up negative as of early Saturday, with another 638 undergoing tests for possible infection, the KCDC said.

The KCDC said 21 patients currently being treated for the virus at hospitals are all in stable condition, with only one person on a respirator for pneumonia. Doctors have said a few others could be discharged from hospitals soon, after undergoing final screenings to make certain they are healthy and pose no health risks to others.

The number of people being tested has increased by 103 from the day before as the country has aggressively isolated and checked people at risk of having contracted the virus.

South Korea has been beefing up its efforts to stem the spread of the virus. Starting Wednesday, strict quarantine screening has been enforced against entrants from Hong Kong and Macao, in addition to mainland China.

Passengers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao are now required to use separate arrival counters at international airports across the country and must write a special quarantine report, filling out health questionnaires to check whether they have a fever or respiratory problems. They must also download a mobile application to report their health status every day.

Lotte Group employees in protective suits disinfect a traditional market in Songpa Ward in southeastern Seoul on Feb. 14, 2020, in this photo provided by the retail and trading giant. Many small-scale merchants have raised concerns that COVID-19 fear is seriously hurting their businesses as fewer people leave their homes to shop. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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