S.Korea’s Covid-19 cases rise to 7,869, toll touches 66

Seoul,  South Korea has confirmed 114 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of midnight Thursday, raising the total number of infections to 7,869. Five more deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 66. The total fatality rate rose to 0.84 per cent.

Forty-five more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, raising the combined number to 333, Xinhua reported.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) decided to update the data once a day at 10 a.m. local time from March 10, after having announced it twice a day.

The virus infection soared for the past weeks, with 7,838 new cases reported from February 19 to March 11. The country has raised its four-tier virus alert to the highest “red” level.

The total number of infections in Daegu, about 300 km southeast of Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province increased to 5,867 and 1,143 respectively. It accounted for about 90 per cent of the total.

The numbers in Seoul and its adjacent Gyeonggi province came to 212 and 178 each.

Daegu became the epicentre of the viral spread here as the biggest cluster of infections was found in the metropolis with a population of 2.5 million. Daegu has been designated by the government as a “special care zone”.

The Daegu cluster was closely linked to the church services of a homegrown minor religious sect, called Sincheonji, in Daegu. Members of the sect are known to sit on the floor closely side by side during church services.

Since January 3, the country has tested more than 234,000 people, among whom 209,402 tested negative for the virus and 17,727 were being checked.