[ti:South Korea OKs Single Test for COVID-19 and Flu]
[00:02.16]Health officials in South Korea have approved a new test
[00:08.44]for the disease COVID-19.
[00:12.48]The test can identify both signs of COVID-19
[00:19.08]and seasonal influenza from the same blood samples.
[00:25.60]Officials say the exam could help prevent problems at hospitals
[00:32.84]as the medical community continues battling the coronavirus.
[00:39.52]As the COVID-19 health crisis stretches into the flu season,
[00:46.80]South Korea, like most nations, has struggled to control the virus.
[00:54.08]Some experts are warning that the virus could spread easily
[00:59.88]during cold weather when people spend more time indoors.
[01:06.72]The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency
[01:12.16]reported 118 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
[01:19.48]Most of the cases were in Seoul, a densely populated city.
[01:26.28]The number of infections nationwide is 26,925,
[01:34.84]including 474 deaths.
[01:39.68]South Koreans have been increasingly going out in public
[01:44.48]after the government eased social distancing restrictions
[01:49.72]last month to help the weak economy.
[01:54.00]Health officials have used trace contacts
[01:58.56]and other measures to control the virus,
[02:02.04]but "such efforts have been outpaced
[02:06.24]by the speed of viral spread,"
[02:09.60]noted Health Ministry official Yoon Taeho.
[02:14.84]Yoon spoke during a press conference.
[02:19.68]The new test targets genes
[02:22.48]that are found in both COVID-19 and seasonal flu.
[02:27.00]The test is a more complex version of the tests that are used
[02:33.24]to identify COVID-19 from fluids taken from noses or throats.
[02:40.96]Laboratories use machines to enlarge genetic materials
[02:47.24]so that even very small amounts of the virus can be measured.
[02:53.28]COVID-19 and the flu are hard to tell apart by their symptoms, said Yoon.
[03:00.32]So, getting an answer in three to six hours would help patients
[03:06.08]and "also reduce the burden of medical workers," he added.
[03:12.12]Also, on Wednesday, India's capital New Delhi
[03:16.60]reported a record high of 6,725 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.
[03:27.76]It is the highest number of new cases since March.
[03:32.52]New Delhi has been reporting about 5,200 infections a day this past week.
[03:41.72]India has a total of 8.3 million cases,
[03:47.12]with 123,611 deaths from COVID-19.
[03:55.64]In Sri Lanka, more than 200 policemen have been infected with the coronavirus
[04:02.12]as cases increase in and around the capital, Colombo.
[04:08.12]Another 2,200 officers have been quarantined because of the virus.
[04:16.48]Health officials have linked the infections to the country's main fish market.
[04:22.72]Sri Lanka's total number of cases since March
[04:27.40]have reached 11,744, including 23 deaths.
[04:35.20]The government has ordered a curfew
[04:38.52]in the densely populated Western province.
[04:42.52]Officials have closed schools and major public offices,
[04:47.68]and banned public gatherings.
[04:50.88]I'm Susan Shand. 更多听力请访问51VOA.COM