South Korean actors Lee Young-ae and Park Seo-joon have made donations to the city of Daegu— the epicenter of a major novel coronavirus outbreak in South Korea — in order to help the city in its fight against the disease.
Community Chest of Korea confirms donations
The Daegu branch of the Community Chest of Korea, a Korean non-profit organization, stated on February 21 that the Sympathy for Lady Vengeance actress had donated 50 million won (approximately $41,420) to help the residents of Daegu fight the spread of the COVID-19 infection, according to Soompi.
Talking about the condition in the city, Young-ae said, "It appears that the situation has worsened for the citizens of Daegu due to COVID-19. Our family hopes that the people of Daegu will be able to overcome these difficult times."
On February 22, the Community Chest of Korea confirmed that Itaewon Class star, Park Seo-joon, had made donations towards Daegu's efforts to combat the outbreak. "After watching news reports that Daegu does not have enough negative pressure rooms and medical equipment to treat COVID-19 cases, Park Seo-Joon donated 100 million won (approximately $82, 850) to help purchase the necessary equipment," the organisation said, according to Soompi.
Designated as a 'special management zone'
The Korean government has designated Daegu as a 'special management zone'. Also, the city's Mayor, Kwon Young-jin, has urged the citizens of the nearly 2.5 million-strong city to remain indoors and wear masks even when inside if possible.
Daegu is where the country's biggest outbreak was reported at a church. The Shincheonji Church of Jesus — the main source of the local outbreak — has so far thrown up over 150 confirmed cases. A 61-year-old attendee has been traced as the cause of the rapid spread. Despite developing symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection on February 10, she attended service on multiple occasions.
No cause for panic says Director-General of WHO
Recently, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO, said the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases did not indicate a risk of a global pandemic. He said the new infections were concentrated around the known clusters of infections, with South Korean authorities monitoring the situation watchfully. "The number of cases are really manageable, and I hope South Korea will do everything to contain this outbreak at this early stage," he said.
With the sudden surge in the number of novel coronavirus infections owing to the church outbreak, the number of cases reported in South Korea has seen a massive spike. Currently, 433 cases have been confirmed and two deaths have been reported. The global death toll stands at 2,361 while the total number of infections has increased to 77,918. China's Hubei province — the ground zero of the infection — has reported 76,291 cases and 2,361 deaths, making it the worst-hit region.