New virus cases rebound to over 100 again; cluster infections still at large
SEOUL, South Korea’s new coronavirus infections again rose by triple digits Sunday on a string of cluster infections across the country, putting the country’s virus fight at risk amid the approaching winter season.
The country added 143 more COVID-19 cases, including 118 local infections, raising the total caseload to 27,427, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
It marked a sharp rise from 89 cases added Saturday but a slight drop from 145 reported Friday.
Sunday’s increase came despite the lower number of tests carried out over the weekend.
Health authorities remain vigilant over sporadic cluster infections at hospitals, nursing homes and risk-prone facilities.
South Korea adopted the lowest level of its social distancing scheme Saturday under revised five-tier infection preventive measures.
Currently, South Korea is under Level 1, except the central city of Cheonan and the adjacent city Asan, where social distancing rules were lifted to Level 1.5 earlier this week amid a surge in COVID-19 cases there.
Level 1 — the lowest in the five-tier scheme — signifies a controllable level of transmission that allows people to carry on with their ordinary lives while wearing masks and following social distancing rules at designated facilities.
Under Level 1.5, the operation of multiuse facilities is restricted.
More restrictions, including the number of people that can gather in a single place, are added for the higher levels.
Of the new local infections, 54 cases were reported in Seoul and 23 cases were from Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital. Incheon, west of Seoul, reported two new cases, while Gangwon Province added nine cases.
As of noon Saturday, an insurance company in western Seoul had reported 26 cases, including 14 employees of the company and eight of their family members.
A total of 19 patients were traced to a brokerage house in western Seoul, up five from a day earlier.
The public health agency said a golf gathering in Yongin, south of Seoul, added five more COVID-19 cases, bringing the cumulative cases traced to the group to 64.
The country added 25 imported cases.
The number of seriously or critically ill COVID-19 patients came to 58, up five from Saturday.
South Korea reported one additional death, raising the total to 478.
The number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries stood at 24,968, up 58 from the previous day.
Source: Yonhap News Agency