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Daegu residents supporting each other amid coronavirus outbreak Updated: 2020-02-26 10:02:46 KST

Small business owners in Daegu, where more than 80 percent of Korea's coronavirus cases have come from, are going through tough times.
Some restaurants have lost their customers and closed down and some are only selling through delivery.

"I closed my restaurant last Friday after sales plunged because of the coronavirus outbreak. It got to the point where I couldn't pay my part-time workers. So I had no choice but to close temporarily."

"I'm not letting customers into the shop. We're serving them only through delivery. I'm worried and nervous because there were some confirmed cases in the area and Chinese students are coming back from vacation soon."

According to Bae, the cafe owner, this narrow street is normally crammed with cars and pedestrians.
But with the virus nearby, the streets are quieter than ever.

For these small businesses caught in the fallout from the epidemic, a well-known Facebook account is trying to help.
This account, which used to introduce restaurants and fun places in Daegu, is helping restaurant owners sell the ingredients they won't be able to use now that people aren't eating out.

"At first, I hoped restaurants could at least make the cost of their ingredients. But people are actually offering to buy 5 dollars' worth of ingredients at double and triple the price. People are doing this to genuinely help those in need. Some people are even helping elderly people who cannot benefit from social media by getting their stories out there."

With the help of this Facebook account, the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant has been giving out bowls of rice noodles in exchange for three masks each.

"I started this event to use up all my leftover stock. But the ingredients were used up in just two days, so I ended up buying more to keep it going. It's hard to get masks here in Daegu. But I found out there were some masks at individual people's homes, so I used this to collect masks and donate them. Now we've got about three hundred of them, which I will donate to Daegu city hall."

The people of Daegu are worried, but their hearts are warm, and they say they can overcome the outbreak.
Choi Jeong-yoon Arirang News.
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