Seoul, Feb 5: South Korea will allocate no less than 3.4 trillion won ($2.8 billion) of reserve funds to tackle the outbreak of the new coronavirus, spokesman for the ruling Democratic Party Hong Ik-pyo said on Wednesday, South Korean media reported.
The party leadership, government officials and president's advisers held a high-level meeting on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments on the coronavirus, specifically how the disease was spreading. The meeting was attended by the prime minister, and the ministers of finance, foreign affairs and health, among others.
According to the Yonhap news agency, the reserve fund will be used not only to prevent the spread of the infection and conduct quarantine inspections, but also to compensate various losses caused by the epidemic. Earlier this week, the South Korean government decided to pay compensation to quarantined citizens for their lost time at work. Payments will be also made to companies that have temporarily lost employees due to the quarantine.
The South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) announced on Wednesday that two more cases of the new coronavirus had been confirmed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 18. According to the health ministry, over 1,300 people who have had contact with the infected will be quarantined at home for two weeks.
The new coronavirus outbreak started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, in December of last year. Outside of China, coronavirus cases have been reported in North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. Overall, over 24,000 novel coronavirus cases have been registered in China. Nearly 500 people have died from the disease, almost all of them in China.(SPUTNIK)