A cabin crew worker from Korean Air tested positive for coronavirus, the airline said Tuesday, and details about what routes the employee flew were not immediately known, according to a report.
Reuters, citing an airline spokeswoman, reported that the company closed its office near the main South Korean airport.
The rapid surge of new coronavirus cases in South Korea has prompted the Centers for Disease Control to issue its highest travel warning level — level 3 — advising American travelers to avoid nonessential travel to the country.
South Korea now has 893 cases, compared to just 28 on Feb. 14. The country now has the second-largest amount of cases in the world, with an increase of 130 infected in the past 24 hours.
“There is a widespread, ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that can be spread from person to person,” the CDC said. “There is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.”
The CDC also announced 18 more cases in the US on Monday, bringing the total infected to 53. Trump sent a letter to Congress on Monday requesting at least 2.5 billion dollars to fight the virus after saying back in early February that “we have pretty much shut it [the virus] down coming in from China.”
“But we can’t have thousands of people coming in who may have this problem, the coronavirus. We’re going to see what happens, but we did shut it down, yes,” he said on Feb. 3.
The cases in the U.S. include 39 evacuees from the severely infected Diamond Princess cruise ship and the Chinese city of Wuhan — the epicenter of the virus.
China has suffered the most from the virus, which is now known as COVID-19, with the country having 99 percent of the cases.
CDC officials added there will “likely be additional cases in the coming days and weeks, including among other people recently returned from Wuhan.”
The U.S. had announced that Americans who traveled to China within the last 14 days would be sent to designated airports for enhanced screenings. Foreign nationals who recently went to China would be denied entry in the U.S., except for the immediate family of American citizens and permanent residents.
China’s Foreign Ministry had said the U.S. hasn’t given the country any substantive help in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak. They added the U.S. was contributing to the international panic surrounding the illness, Reuters reported.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global emergency as it spreads to countries outside of China and the number of infected patients continues to grow.
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Countries around the globe have increased travel restrictions to the infected mainland China and Hubei province — with the U.S. State Department increasing its advisory to level 4: “Do Not Travel.”
The CDC has issued an advisory to avoid all nonessential travel to the country.
Coronavirus has now killed about three times the amount of people around the world than were sickened during the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s. The SARS outbreak killed 349 people in mainland China in 2002-2003 — with 744 deaths and 8,096 infections globally, according to the CDC.
Here are the latest figures.
The virus has claimed the lives of 2,663 people and infected 77,658 in mainland China. There are now 80,038 cases around the globe with 33 deaths officially reported outside of mainland China.
Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Taiwan, France, and the Philippines all recorded fatalities from the virus.
The WHO said the number of cases will keep growing as tests are pending on thousands of suspected cases.
Where is the virus?
Roughly 99 percent of new cases have appeared in China with the vast majority of the cases in Hubei province and its provincial capital, Wuhan — the epicenter of the virus.
Roughly 2,291 cases of the virus have been recorded in 33 countries around the globe
The United Kingdom has 13 cases in the country.
Japan — 838 cases (691 from a Diamond Princess cruise ship) (4 deaths)
South Korea — 833 cases (7 deaths)
Italy — 219 cases (5 deaths)
Singapore — 89 cases
Iran — 61 cases (12 deaths)
United States: 52 cases
Thailand: 35 cases
Taiwan: 28 cases (1 death)
Australia — 23 cases
Malaysia — 22
Germany — 16
Vietnam — 16 cases
France — 12 cases (1 death)
United Arab Emirates — 13 cases
Canada — 10
Philippines — 3 cases (1 death)
Kuwait — 3 cases
India — 3
Russia — 2
Spain — 2
Israel — 2
Oman — 2
Lebanon — 1
Belgium — 1
Sri Lanka –1
Hong Kong — 79 (2 deaths)
Macao — 10