- More than 30 people in city of Daegu were confirmed with coronavirus in the past 2 days.
- The mayor considers the virus to be a level 4 contagious disease, the highest level possible.
- Local officials are preparing for worse to come.
Over 30 confirmed cases of coronavirus have emerged in the South Korean city of Daegu since Tuesday, bringing up the total count to a staggering 108 with the nation’s first confirmed COVID-19-related death. That prompted the city’s mayor to change the status of the outbreak from ‘cautious’ to ‘serious’.
After China, South Korea has now overtaken Japan as the country worst-hit by the coronavirus.
Mayor rates coronavirus as a level 4 contagious disease
In South Korea, when it comes to virus outbreaks or disasters, the government rates them on a four-tier category scale: attentive, caution, alert, and serious.
Officially, the government of South Korea has put the coronavirus outbreak at level 3, raising it from attentive and caution in a span of a month.
But, in Daegu, circumstances are significantly direr. With 30 individuals being confirmed as coronavirus patients in less than 48 hours, the mayor is taking no chances of a further outbreak.
While a window of containment has been missed with more than 80 individuals affected in South Korea, the government is primarily focusing on handling the virus outbreak.
The emergence of near three-dozen confirmed cases in Daegu comes after heavy criticism was directed at the government of South Korea for a lack of decisiveness when the outbreak first occurred.
According to local mainstream publication Chosun, South Korea’s Central Accident Prevention Division director Kim Kang-lip said about Daegu’s mayor:
As of today, the mayor of Daegu is considering the coronavirus to be a level four contagious disease. The mayor believes the city needs all the support it can garner from the central government and neighboring cities.
On February 20, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, confirmed another case of coronavirus from the Jongno District. The district is known to be the cultural center of South Korea for tourists, with the well-known Gyeongbokgung palace in the area.
Is it getting any better?
Various statistics show that the number of individuals recovering from coronavirus is increasing on a day-to-day basis.
Although the Wuhan coronavirus has a much higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, experts say that it is unlikely to cause death to individuals that have strong immune systems and no existing sickness.
In the short-term, local officials do not foresee the situation improving to the point in which it would alleviate any pressure from the government nor the people.
As CCN.com reported, some officials believe this is merely a transition from phase one to phase two, and anticipate the peak of the outbreak to be hit in the weeks to come.
The newly confirmed cases of coronavirus on the day places South Korea as one of the three foreign countries with a substantially high number of individuals affected by the virus, alongside Thailand and Japan.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.