The Weekend Leader - Rise in S.Korea COVID-19 cases slowest since Feb

Rise in S.Korea COVID-19 cases slowest since Feb



South Korea on Monday reported its lowest daily figure for new coronavirus infections since late last month, as the nation ramped up social distancing rules to slow the virus pandemic.

The 64 new cases, which were detected on Sunday, brought the nation's total infections to 8,961, Yonhap News Agency quoted the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) as saying in a statement.

The daily infections stayed below 100 cases for the second straight day, and Sunday's additional cases marked the lowest since peaking at 909 on February 29.

So far, 111 people, mostly elderly patients with underlying illnesses, have died in South Korea from the respiratory virus that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December

Of the 64 new cases, 24 are in Daegu and two are in North Gyeongsang, the KCDC said.

The total number of confirmed cases in Daegu and North Gyeongsang, the two epicenters of the virus outbreak here, stood at 6,411 and 1,256, respectively.

Other major provinces and cities have also reported some infections, with Seoul reporting six additional cases. The total number of imported virus cases rose by 13 to 47.

Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul and Incheon, saw their new daily infections rise by 20 to 721 on Sunday.

Clusters of infections accounted for 81.1 percent of the total confirmed cases as of Monday, meaning that people can contract the virus if they are in a close environment, Yonhap News Agency quoted the KCDC statement as saying.

South Korea began implementing stricter rules on social distancing on Sunday to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

Citizens were strongly urged to stay at home, except for essential needs or jobs, with the government also restricting religious gatherings, indoor sports activities and attendance at entertainment facilities, such as night clubs and karaoke rooms.

Amid a steady rise in imported virus cases, South Korea has enforced a two-week quarantine period for all long-term arrivals from Europe, regardless of symptoms.

Meanwhile, Yoon Tae-ho, a senior health ministry official in charge of containment measures, told reporters that South Korea will set up 40 "walk-through" testing facilities at Incheon International Airport this week.

The telephone booth-shaped testing facility allows medical workers to test people from behind a transparent plastic panel to ensure their safety.

It takes about seven minutes for a person to get tested.

About 60 per cent of churches were shut on Sunday, Yoon said, adding that the 3,185 churches that disregarded the social distancing rules, the government imposed administrative orders. IANS

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