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S. Korea reports 142 more cases of novel coronavirus

Updated: 2020-02-22 09:15
A woman wearing a mask to prevent contracting the coronavirus rides on a subway in Seoul, South Korea, February 20, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL — South Korea has reported 142 new cases of a viral outbreak, bringing the country's total to 346.

Of the 142, 131 are from the fourth-largest city of Daegu and nearby regions, most of them linked to a church and a hospital in Cheongdo county.

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.

Mayor Kwon Young-jin made a nationally televised appeal Friday for those preventative measures, warning that a rash of new cases could overwhelm the health system. He pleaded for help from the country’s central government.

Two patients from the Cheongdo hospital have died after being infected with the virus causing COVID-19.

South Korea has become the newest front in a global outbreak, reporting Friday that 204 people had been infected, quadruple the number of cases it had two days earlier.

Schools were shuttered Friday, churches told worshipers to stay away and some mass gatherings were banned.

--AP

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