Chinese governments at various levels have allocated a total of 15.58 billion dollars (108.75 billion yuan) as special funds from March 2 to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus epidemic, an official said on Tuesday.
Fu Jinling, Head of the Social Insurance Division in the Ministry of Finance, also said that China had provided enterprises with 1 trillion yuan in social insurance payment relief this year to support the resumption of production.
He said that China was aiming to cut the total tax burden on enterprises by 510 billion yuan this year, and would also be allowing firms in the virus-stricken province of Hubei to waive insurance payments for five months.
Similarly, China had reported a slowdown in new coronavirus infections over the past few days, while new cases in South Korea spiked, health authorities said on Tuesday.
China’s National Health Commission counted 125 new coronavirus cases in the past few days – the lowest number since Jan. 20.
Meanwhile, there were 31 new deaths from the disease, bringing up the country’s death toll to 2,943 with 80,151 infections.
South Korea, on the other hand, saw another spike in cases of the virus, with 600 new infections bringing the total to 4,812, according to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, KCDC.
The death toll in the country also rose to 28 after six people who had tested positive to the virus died.
Most of the South Korean cases were concentrated in the south-eastern city of Daegu and the surrounding North Gyeongsang province.
The majority of the cases were found among followers of a Christian sect, the Shincheonji Church, which has ties to China.
According to the officials, some members of the sect visited the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated in December.
They said that on Monday, the leader of the sect, Lee Man Hee, publicly apologised for the spread of the virus.
They added that he and 12 of his followers were facing charges that included murder.
Authorities had accused him of withholding the names of sect members who might have been infected and thereby causing other people to become infected.
The sect was said to have rejected the accusations.
President Moon Jae In said on Tuesday that South Korea had begun a “war” against the virus, according to the country’s Yonhap News Agency.
“The crisis in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province reached its peak, and the whole country has entered a war against the infectious disease,” Yonhap quoted Moon as saying.
He announced 25 billion dollars in funds for the virus response, according to the news agency.
Taiwan`s Central Epidemic Control Centre reported one new case, bringing the total to 42.
Taiwan had recorded one death from the virus and 12 people had been released from hospital after reaching the requirement of three negative tests.
Meanwhile, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Monday raised the risk level for people in the EU from low-to-moderate to moderate-to-high due to the spreading coronavirus.