South Korea 'all out' to contain virus outbreak, vows to stabilize market

A mother and her child wear a mask to prevent contacting a new coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea, January 26, 2020. Yonhap via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea on Tuesday said it was going “all out” to contain the outbreak of the spreading coronavirus and vowed to stabilize financial markets should volatilities worsen as it confirmed the fourth case of the China-linked virus.

“The government will be all out to protect citizens and minimize its impact on the economy,” Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said in a policy meeting in Seoul.

Hong said the government will fund efforts to contain the virus using the emergency fund from the existing budget, including 20.8 billion won ($17.8 million) set aside for anti-epidemic measures.

South Korea in 2015 drew up a supplementary budget to help the economy cope with the effects of the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The virus, originating in the Chinese central city of Wuhan at the end of last year, has spread to the United States, Japan, Canada, France and Germany among others. It has killed at least 81 people.

Reporting by Joori Roh and Cynthia Kim; Editing by Sandra Maler