Confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Korea have doubled twice in two days. On Friday, authorities announced that 100 new cases had been detected, bringing the total to 204. The day prior, the country had confirmed 53 cases, most of them linked to a fringe religious group in the city of Daegu. Some 87 of the newest cases are also linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which has closed its branch in Daegu and others around the country. The government has declared a "special management zone" around Daegu, a city of 2.5 million people, and urged residents to stay indoors. A second coronavirus death was reported in the country Friday. More:
- 'Emergency phase." Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun said that with a rise in infections not linked to China, the country is now in an "emergency phase," reports the AP. "Our efforts until now had been focused on blocking the illness from entering the country," he said. "But we will now shift the focus on preventing the illness from spreading further in local communities."
- Military bases locked down. The BBC reports that all military bases in South Korea were locked down after the first military coronavirus cases were confirmed. A sailor, a soldier, and an air force officer, all from separate bases, have tested positive.
- Trouble in China's prisons. Beijing admitted Friday that the virus has been found in prisons in three provinces and announced the firing of several senior security officials, the Washington Post reports. In a prison in the eastern province of Shandong, some 200 prisoners and seven employees have been infected, authorities say. There have also been 230 infection in the Wuhan women's prison, whose chief has been fired.
- New cases in Iran. New coronavirus cases have been confirmed in three cities in Iran, reports Reuters. Officials said seven cases were found in Qom, four in Tehran, and two in Gilan. The country now has 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including four deaths.
- Cops in quarantine. In Hong Kong, 60 police officers who ignored official advice to avoid social gatherings are now in quarantine, RTHK reports. One officer has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and several others who attended the same banquet for a retiring colleague are showing symptoms.
- "Front line" doctor dies. China announced another 118 deaths Thursday, bringing the official death toll to 2,236. Among them was 29-year-old Wuhan doctor Peng Yinhua. Authorities say he became ill while working on the "front line," the Guardian reports. Weeks ago, state media praised Peng for delaying his wedding to fight the outbreak.
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