S.Korea reports first COVID-19 death

Seoul: South Korean authorities on Thursday confirmed the country’s first coronavirus (COVID-19) death as the number of people infected with the disease continued to swell since the first reported case a month ago.

The deceased is a 63-year-old man from Cheongdo county, bordering the city of Daegu, who died from pneumonia on Wednesday, reports Efe news.

Evidence the virus was present in the man’s body was confirmed Thursday.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), 51 of the 53 COVID-19 cases announced on Thursday were registered in the city of Daegu and its surroundings.

The surge in the number of infections reported Thursday brought the total number of confirmed cases to 104.

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The mayor of the South Korean city, Kwon Young-jin, said at a press conference that Daegu faced an “unprecedented crisis” as the city had become the country’s primary cluster of cases of the deadly virus.

The vast majority of Daegu cases seem to be linked to a 61-year-old woman, who is believed to be a so-called superspreader.

The woman belonged to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which on Sunday celebrated a mass in Daegu attended by some 1,000 parishioners.

Mayor Kwon Young-jin urged residents of Daegu to remain indoors if possible.

Outside China, Hong Kong (two), the Philippines (one), Japan (one), Iran (two) and France (one) have each reported deaths.

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The overall death toll in China increased to 2,118 on Thursday, with a total of 74,576 confirmed cases.

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