Taiwan issues travel alert for South Korea as coronavirus cases soar

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Number of COVID-19 cases rise in South Korea. (Pixabay photo)

Number of COVID-19 cases rise in South Korea. (Pixabay photo)

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday (Feb. 20) issued a basic Level 1 travel alert for South Korea, advising travelers from Taiwan to exercise normal precautions while in the country, in light of a spike in novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases there.

The travel advisory was issued in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus after South Korea confirmed its first death from the disease and a sharp increase in new cases, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC.

South Korea on Thursday reported its first coronavirus death and 53 new cases of the coronavirus in a single day, bringing its total to 104.

In 49 cases, the patients are from Daegu or surrounding areas, and the infections have been traced to a person who attended a local church, according to the CECC.

South Korean health authorities have warned that the virus is now spreading in communities there, the CECC said.