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S. Korea reports 594 new virus cases, total almost 3,000

National 10:30 February 29, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported a whopping 594 additional cases of the new coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total infections here to 2,931 as the country intensified its anti-virus fight with a massive program of testing.

So far, 16 people have died in South Korea from the virus that emerged in China.

Of the 594 new cases, 476 are in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and 60 were reported in neighboring North Gyeongsang Province, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Troops set up makeshift partitions and beds at the Armed Forces Hospital in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Feb. 28, 2020. The extra beds are being prepared to cope with the spike in patients testing positive for the novel coronavirus in the city. (Yonhap)

Other major provinces and cities have also reported some infections, with Seoul reporting additional 12 cases.

Since raising the virus alert level to "red," the highest level, on Sunday, health authorities have focused on halting the spread of the virus in Daegu, the epicenter of the virus outbreak here, and North Gyeongsang Province.

Experts said the number of confirmed cases is expected to jump in the coming days as health authorities have begun testing more than 210,000 members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus at the center of the rapid spread in other provinces.

People wait in a long line for hours to buy just five masks per person at a post office in coronavirus-stricken Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Feb. 28, 2020. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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