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Sri Lanka says watching citizens in South Korea as Coronvirus cases spike

Medical workers wearing protective gear carry a patient infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus at a hospital in Chuncheon on February 22, 2020. South Korea reported 142 more coronavirus cases on February 22, the sharpest spike in infections yet, with more than half of the new cases linked to a hospital in a southern city. The national toll of 346 is now the second-highest outside of China. YONHAP / AFP

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said it is keeping in touch with over 20,000 migrants in South Korea as the country reported the second highest number of Coronavirus cases outside China.

The Ministry of Foreign Relations in coordination with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Seoul has been closely monitoring and coordinating efforts to ensure the safety of Sri Lankans residing in South Korea, following the recent rise of COVID-19 cases, particularly, in the city of Daegu.

“According to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Seoul, presently no Sri Lankans have fallen victim to the virus,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Over 20,000 Sri Lankans comprising migrant workers as well as students reside in that country. The Embassy is focussing particular attention on Sri Lankans in Daegu, where an estimated 915 reside. ”

A number of members of a church near Daegu became infected with the virus, in the first group of infections in South Korea.

Sri Lanka’s embassy is running 24 hour helpdesk for Sri Lankan migrants in South Korea.

“Two social media groups have been established and the Mission is in contact with Sri Lankan Temples, community leaders and all others concerned, the foreign ministry said.

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South Korea reports 142 more coronavirus cases, total 346

South Korea reported 142 more coronavirus cases Saturday, taking the national total to 346, the highest outside of China.

Among the new cases, 92 were “related” to patients or staff at Cheongdo Daenam Hospital, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

“Most of the hospital’s patients who have been diagnosed are those who had been staying as inpatients for mental illnesses,” Seoul’s vice health minister Kim Gang-lip was quoted as saying by AFP, a news agency..

Two people have died. Both were patients at the hospital. (Colombo/Feb22/2020)

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