South Korea reports 60 new coronavirus cases, total 893

Workers from the Korea Pest Control Association, wearing protective gear, spray disinfectant to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus at a market in Seoul on Feb 24, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP, REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - South Korea reported 60 more coronavirus cases on Tuesday (Feb 25), the smallest increase for four days, in the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention's (KCDC) morning updates.

The country now has 893 cases, the KCDC said - the largest national total anywhere outside China - adding that one more person had died, taking the toll to eight.

Of the new cases, 16 were in the south-eastern city of Daegu, where a church that was at the centre of the outbreak is located, and 33 from North Gyeongsang province, the KCDC said.

South Korea's consumer confidence plunged the most in five years as the coronavirus spread quickly in the country, blunting the momentum towards economic recovery.

The index slid 7.3 points in February to 96.9, dropping below 100 - which serves as a yardstick for positive or negative sentiment - according to the Bank of Korea. The fall is the largest since June 2015, when another type of coronavirus - Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) - hit the Korean economy.

Meanwhile, the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday that Americans should avoid all non-essential travel to South Korea due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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