New virus cases fall back to 20 as local cases return to single digit
SEOUL, South Korea’s new virus cases fell sharply on Friday as local infections grew again in a single-digit figure. But new cluster infections at restaurants and churches are still straining the country’s anti-virus fight.
The country added 20 cases, including nine local infections, raising the total caseload to 14,519, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
On Thursday, the new virus cases rose above 40 for the first time since July 29, when the figure reached 48, with domestic cases outnumbering imported ones for the first time in 13 days.
South Korea added just 23 total cases on Monday as local infections reached a three-month low. But sporadic cluster infections have led to yet another uptick in the number of local cases.
Of the locally-transmitted cases added on Friday, six were from the capital city of Seoul.
A total of 15 cases have been traced to a coffee shop and a restaurant in southern Seoul as of Thursday, up two from a day earlier.
One more patient was traced to a church in the eastern Seoul ward of Songpa on the previous day, bringing total infections from the church to 22 as well.
Gyeonggi Province that surrounds Seoul added three new cases.
Health authorities said 336 people who attended an Islamic festival in Cheongju, 137 kilometers south of Seoul where six virus patients were confirmed Wednesday, tested negative for COVID-19. More investigation is underway.
Cases coming in from overseas have risen by double-digit numbers for 43 consecutive days. Among the 11 additional cases, five were detected at quarantine checkpoints at ports and airports.
The daily imported cases reached a record on Feb. 25 by reaching 86.
The country suffered a sharp increase in the number of such cases due to South Korean workers returning home from Iraq, along with sailors from Russian ships docked at its port.
Since June, 94 seafarers from nine Russia-flagged ships docked in Busan have tested positive for COVID-19.
The country reported one more, keeping the number of fatalities at 303, according to the KCDC.
The number of patients fully cured of the virus reached 13,543, up 42 from the previous day.
Source: Yonhap News Agency