Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon asks central bank governor to do what he can to prevent further increase
By Erin El Issa, CNN
South Korea’s public health authority said on Thursday that a virus that has infected nearly 40,000 people has now surpassed 5,000, with nearly 9,000 still being treated.
The Health Ministry said earlier in the week that the virus had infected around 27,000 people in Korea, with people mostly catching the pneumonia-like virus while working outdoors.
For the first time since the country’s epidemic started in June, the country has seen a slight decrease in the number of hospital beds where the virus has been treated, according to the Ministry of Public Health.
The virus is the cause of the illness KKVV1, and has affected more than 10 million people across the globe.
People are still infected with the disease daily, but an increase in the number of hospitals treating KKVV1 has kept infection rates close to the current level, the ministry said.
While the initial wave of the disease left hundreds of people dead, South Korea has seen a significant drop in the number of deaths since June 24, according to The Korea Herald. Since July 31, 138 people have died of KKVV1, 14 fewer than between June 24 and July 1.
In the first week of the outbreak, people began reporting symptoms such as coughing, fever and aches. The disease was initially found to have broken out in May, and schools and offices are still cleaning disinfectant at entrances.
South Korea’s finance minister on Thursday asked the central bank governor to do what he can to prevent further increase in the country’s infection rate.
The Bank of Korea governor is expected to announce a decision next week on interest rates, which have been maintained at 1.5%.
Korea had already been fighting one of the worst recession, low foreign investment and an unemployment rate that has been creeping higher in recent years.