S Korea declares highest alert over coronavirus

S Korea declares highest alert over coronavirus
  • Clock-gray 16:46
  • calendar-gray 23 February 2020

South Korea has raised its coronavirus alert to the "highest level" as confirmed case numbers keep rising, APA reports citing BBC.

President Moon Jae-in said the country faced "a grave turning point", and the next few days would be crucial in the battle to contain the outbreak.

Five people have died from the virus in South Korea and more than 600 have been infected.

Meanwhile, Italy and Iran have announced steps to try to contain worrying outbreaks of the virus.

In Italy, strict quarantine restrictions are in force in two northern "hotspot" regions close to Milan and Venice.

Around 50,000 people cannot enter or leave several towns in Veneto and Lombardy for the next two weeks without special permission. Even outside the zone, many businesses and schools have suspended activities, and sporting events have been cancelled including several top-flight football matches.

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