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S. Korea considering conducting coronavirus tests on all pneumonia patients

14:45 February 16, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is considering conducting novel coronavirus tests on all pneumonia patients in the country, health authorities here said Sunday, to check whether the potentially deadly virus has already spread across the nation.

Jung Eun-kyeong, head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), said the government is considering running the coronavirus tests on pneumonia patients in the coming days after consulting with respiratory and infectious disease experts.

The KCDC's latest decision comes after the country reported its 29th case of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, earlier in the day.

The 29th patient, who had no record of overseas travel, was identified after doctors decided to run coronavirus tests when he was found to have pneumonia. The latest patient, an 82-year-old man, is also believed currently to have had no contact with the country's other virus-confirmed patients.

Common symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, sore throat and breathing difficulties, with more acute cases involving chills and muscle pain and severe cases developing into pneumonia.

The KCDC has been closely monitoring and checking coronavirus patients and people who made physical contact with them. But to further stem the virus' spread across the country, the KCDC said it may run coronavirus tests on all pneumonia patients.

Health authorities close an emergency room of a Seoul hospital on Feb. 16, 2020, after finding out that South Korea's 29th coronavirus patient had visited the facility. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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