South Korea has confirmed the 16th case of the new coronavirus that originated in China, the country's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Tuesday.
"As of 4 February 2020, there have been 607 Patient Under Investigation (PUIs) with 16 confirmed cases, 462 cases already released after tested negative, and 129 cases currently being tested. The 16th confirmed case is in isolation at Chonnam National University Hospital and the epidemiological investigation is on-going. All other patients are in stable condition", the statement said.
The South Korean Health Ministry has said that starting from Tuesday, over 1,300 people who have had contacts with those confirmed to be infected with coronavirus will be quarantined at home for two weeks.
"Those who refuse to comply with the home quarantine will be fined up to 3 million won [$2,500]. We are trying to explain the danger of the situation in the best possible way and convince [these people]", KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong said.
The new strain of coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December and has since spread to more than 20 countries. The virus has so far killed 425 people in China and infected over 20,000 others. On Sunday, the first coronavirus-related death outside China was confirmed in the Philippines. Earlier on Tuesday, Hong Kong, a special administrative region in China, reported its first death from the coronavirus.
A total of 46 foreign airlines have so far suspended flights to and from China due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.