S.Korea reports 4th COVID-19 death as cases spike to 556

A woman disinfects herself at Gwanghwamun Station in Seoul, South Korea, Feb. 18, 2020. South Korea on Friday confirmed 100 more cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), raising the total number of infections to 204.

Seoul,  South Korea reported its fourth death from the new coronavirus on Sunday and added 123 new cases to bring the total confirmed cases to 556.

Three of the four deaths were from Daenam Hospital in the southeastern city of Cheongdo, where the country’s first COVID-19 fatality took place and more than 110 people, including nine medical staff, were found to be infected, reports the Yonhap News Agency.

The fourth victim of the novel virus was confirmed to be infected on Wednesday. The patient in his late 50s suffered from serious pneumonia before being infected with the novel coronavirus.

The number of COVID-19 infections more than doubled in a single day on Saturday, with most cases centred around a religious organization in the country’s fourth-largest city of Daegu and the neighbouring Daenam Hospital.

Of the 123 new cases, 75 are related to worship services of the Shincheonji church in Daegu, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The number of cases that can be traced to the church services reached 309 as of Sunday morning, accounting for more than half of the total cases here.

South Korea has released 18 fully recovered patients from hospitals as of Sunday morning, the KCDC said.

South Korea confirmed its first new coronavirus case from a Chinese woman from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on January 20.