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S.Korea confirms 284 more cases of COVID-19, 1,261 in total

(Xinhua)    09:04, February 27, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- South Korea confirmed 284 more cases of the COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the total number of infections to 1,261, and the death toll rose to 12.

As of 4:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT), the number of infected patients totaled 1,261, up 284 from the previous day. The number of deaths from the virus increased to 12 with two more deaths reported.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has updated the data twice a day at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time.

The virus infections rose sharply for the past week, with 946 new cases reported on Feb. 19-25. The country raised its four-tier virus alert to the highest "red" level on Sunday.

The National Assembly passed three bills to revise laws on infectious disease, quarantine and the medical service.

Under the revised infectious disease act, people with symptoms who refuse to be tested for virus could face up to a fine of 3 million won (2,470 U.S. dollars).

People with symptoms who refuse to be placed under self-quarantine and hospitalized could face up to a one-year imprisonment or a fine of 10 million won (8,220 U.S. dollars).

Under the revision, the health minister is allowed to ban the exports of face masks and hand sanitizers at a time of supply shortage or price spike, while the health ministry must have at least 100 epidemiological investigators from the previous 30.

Face masks would be provided for children and the elderly at state welfare facilities when the virus alert is lifted to the third-highest level.

Under the amended quarantine act, the health minister can ask the justice minister to ban entry to foreigners from regions affected by or at a risk of an epidemic.

The revised medical service act involved the strengthened monitoring of patients, families and medical workers at hospitals.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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