South Korea's foreign ministry issued a travel alert for all of China except for Taiwan on Tuesday, amid stepped-up efforts to contain the spread of the deadly new coronavirus that first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last month.
It applied the alert level of "restraint," the third highest in its four-tier travel warning system, for the entire country, including Hong Kong and Macau, while maintaining the second-highest level of "withdrawal recommendation" for China's Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located.
"The travel alert this time is issued in consideration of the spread of the new coronavirus throughout China, an increase in confirmed cases and deaths, and stricter restrictions on movements in China," the ministry said in a press release.
The ministry also called on South Koreans currently in China to take extra care of their health and safety, and on those planning to visit the country to reconsider their trips.
Chinese health authorities have said that the death toll of the pneumonia-like illness exceeded 100 in the world's most populous country, with the number of confirmed cases swelling to more than 4,500. Since early last week, four South Koreans have been confirmed to have contracted the virus. (Yonhap)