Virus cases stay below 100 for 2nd day, potential spike still worrisome
SEOUL, South Korea’s daily new coronavirus cases stayed below 100 for the second straight day Friday, with health authorities on alert over a possible spike in infections following the Chuseok holiday.
The country added 54 more COVID-19 cases, including 38 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,476, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Daily infections bounced back to 114 on Wednesday after rising by double digits the previous six days. But the daily cases fell back to double digits on Thursday.
Health authorities have warned that the country could see an uptick in COVID-19 cases after the five-day Chuseok holiday that ran through Sunday.
The government urged people to stay home during the fall harvest holiday, but around 30 million people are estimated to have traveled across the nation to visit their family members and relatives during the holiday.
Adding to concerns of the government, Korea is set to have a three-day break from Friday to Sunday when Hangeul Day, which celebrates the Korean alphabet, is combined with the weekend. The country earlier designated a special two-week period for toughened virus curbs until Sunday to prevent outbreaks.
Of the newly identified local infections, 17 cases were reported in Seoul and nine cases in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital. Incheon, west of Seoul, reported no additional cases.
The number of newly identified imported cases came to 16, up from nine a day earlier. The country’s total number of imported cases is now at 3,350
There was one additional death from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 428. The fatality rate was 1.75 percent.
The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries stood at 22,569, up 106 from the previous day.
The country has carried out 2,400,233 coronavirus tests since Jan. 3.
Daily infections peaked at 441 on Aug. 27, days after cluster infections were found to be linked to a Seoul church and an anti-government rally in the capital on Aug. 15.
With tightened social distancing imposed on the greater Seoul area for weeks, the daily number of new COVID-19 cases has been hovering around 100 since early September.
The 38 new cases Tuesday marked the fewest since Aug. 11, when the country reported 34 additional infections.
Source: Yonhap News Agency