Coronavirus Fears Create Ghost Town in South Korea

The streets of South Korea’s fourth-largest city were abandoned on Thursday, with residents holed up indoors after dozens of people caught the new coronavirus in what authorities described as a “super-spreading event” at a church, Reuters writes.

The deserted shopping malls and cinemas of Daegu, a city of 2.5 million people, became one of the most striking images outside China of an outbreak that international authorities are trying stop from becoming a global pandemic.

New research suggesting the virus is more contagious than previously thought added to the alarm.

In China, where the virus has killed more than 2,100 people and infected nearly 75,000, officials changed their methodology for reporting infections, creating new doubt about data they have cited as evidence their containment strategy is working.

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday and gold prices hit their highest in seven years as investors sought safe havens over worries about the coronavirus’ economic impact. [MKTS/GLOB] U.S. manufacturers are scrambling for alternative sources as supply chains in China, the workshop of the world, dry up.

“If you look at today’s chain of supply, if China suffers, everyone in the world will suffer as well,” China’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Chen Xu, told reporters.

In South Korea, Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin told residents to stay indoors after 90 people who worshipped at one church showed symptoms and dozens of new cases were confirmed.

The church had been attended by a 61-year-old woman who tested positive, known as “Patient 31”. South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described the outbreak there as a “super-spreading event”.

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