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(LEAD) New virus infections hover around 100 for 2nd day on imported cases

All Headlines 10:45 March 26, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details in para 5, last para; RECASTS first 2 paras, headline)

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases hovered around 100 for the second straight day Thursday, as health authorities ramped up containment measures in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area amid a jump in imported cases.

The 104 new cases, detected Wednesday, brought the nation's total infections to 9,241, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The figure marked the 15th consecutive day there were 100 or fewer additional cases. The death toll rose by five to 131.

The total number of imported cases jumped by 30 to 131, the KCDC said.

Medical workers with protective gear gesture as they arrive for a shift at Dongsan Hospital in the virus-hit city of Daegu on March 25, 2020. (Yonhap)

Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, the nation's two worst-affected regions, reported 26 and 12 new cases, respectively.

Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the capital city, saw their new daily infections rise by 28 to 804 on Wednesday.

Imported cases also rose by 30.

South Korea began implementing stricter rules on social distancing Sunday to slow the coronavirus pandemic that emerged in China late last year.

Citizens are strongly urged to stay at home, except for essential needs or jobs, with the government restricting religious gatherings, indoor sports activities and visits to nightclubs and other entertainment venues.

South Korea has enforced a two-week quarantine period and virus tests for all long-term arrivals from Europe, regardless of symptoms, in an effort to contain imported virus cases. Starting Friday, passengers from the U.S. for long-term stay will be required to self-isolate at home for two weeks.

So far, 4,144 patients have recovered, and 4,966 are receiving treatment. South Korea has tested 364,942 people since Jan. 20, when the virus was first detected in the country.

Seomun Market, a major traditional market in new coronavirus-hit Daegu, shows modest signs of recovery on March 25, 2020, as the number of new coronavirus cases nationwide has gradually declined recently. (Yonhap)

kdh@yna.co.kr
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