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S. Korea reports 600 new virus cases, total now at 4,812

All News 10:28 March 03, 2020

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported 600 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections here to 4,812, with an alarming cluster of infections continuing to swell in the southeastern city of Daegu.

So far, 28 people, mostly ones with underlying illnesses, have died in South Korea from the respiratory virus that emerged in China late last year.

About 60 percent of confirmed cases have been linked to a branch of the Shincheonji religious sect in the southeastern city of Daegu, the country's fourth-largest city, with a population of 2.5 million.

The justice ministry said last week that some members of the religious group visited the Chinese city of Wuhan, the global epicenter of the virus.

Of the new cases, 519 are in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and 61 are in neighboring North Gyeongsang Province, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The latest the latest figure was tallied at midnight Monday.

Graduates from the Korea Armed Forces Nursing Academy receive education on the new coronavirus at the institution in the central city of Daejeon on March 2, 2020. Seventy-five new officers from the school are set to be sent to Daegu on March 3. (Yonhap)

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

Since raising the virus alert level to "red," the highest level, on Feb. 23, 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 increase 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.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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