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S. Korea reports 131 new virus cases, total now at 7,513

All News 10:25 March 10, 2020

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported 131 new cases of the new coronavirus on Tuesday, marking the slowest one-day rise in confirmed cases in two weeks and bringing the nation's total infections to 7,513.

So far, 54 people, mostly elderly patients with underlying illnesses, have died in South Korea from the respiratory virus that emerged in China late last year, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

About 63 percent of confirmed cases have been linked to a branch of the Shincheonji religious sect in Daegu, which, at a population of 2.5 million, is the country's fourth-largest city.

This graphic image, provided by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) on March 10, 2020, shows daily new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and total infections in South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The pace of daily new inflections has shown signs of slowing in recent days as health authorities have completed extensive testing of 210,000 Shincheonji followers who are at the center of the rapid spread, but authorities are still on high alert over new clusters of infections.

Of the 131 new cases, which were detected on Monday, 92 are in Daegu and 10 are in North Gyeongsang, the KCDC said. The total number of confirmed cases in Daegu and North Gyeongsang, the two epicenters of the virus outbreak here, stood at 5,663 and 1,117, respectively.

Other major provinces and cities have also reported some infections, with Seoul reporting 11 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 and North Gyeongsang.

Nurses at Dongsan Hospital in virus-hit Daegu smile despite their hard work on March 9, 2020, with bandages on their cheeks and foreheads due to wearing goggles for a long time. (Yonhap)

kdh@yna.co.kr
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