Nemo Kim in Daegu
Sun 23 Feb 2020
Sunday morning found Kim Tae-woo sitting in his convenience store at the normally bustling East Daegu train station, counting the day’s customers on the fingers of one hand.
“Things are beyond quiet here,” he said. “It feels like I’m at a meditation centre. I’m thinking of removing the magazine stand. No one has the peace of mind to flip through them now.”
South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, placed the country on red alert on Sunday as its number of coronavirus infections tripled over the weekend to 602.
Barring the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan, South Korea now has the highest number of infections outside China.
Residents of Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city and the centre of its outbreak, are leaving nothing to chance.
The city’s streets were eerily quiet, with stores and restaurants closed and stations, markets and shopping areas devoid of the usual foot traffic. The few people who dared to venture out were masked and wearing gloves.