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S. Korea reports 125 new virus cases, total now at 9,786

All News 10:24 March 31, 2020

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported 125 new cases of the novel coronavirus Tuesday, up from 78 new cases a day earlier, bringing the nation's total infections to 9,786.

The 125 new cases of COVID-19, detected Monday, were mainly due to an mass outbreak at a hospital in Daegu, the epicenter of the virus outbreak here, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The death toll rose by four to 162.

Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, the nation's two worst-affected regions, reported 60 and two new cases, respectively, the KCDC said.

Other major provinces and cities also reported infections, with 24 additional cases in Seoul.

The country also detected 15 cases coming from overseas at quarantine checkpoints, raising the country's total number of imported cases to 518.

Health workers in protective suits enter Keimyung University Dongsan Hospital in Daegu on March 31, 2020. (Yonhap)

To better contain imported cases, South Korea will enforce a two-week mandatory quarantine on all entrants from overseas starting Wednesday.

Under the new measure, all arrivals to the country regardless of nationality are required to stay in isolation for 14 days. Visitors without local addresses are to stay in government-designated facilities at their own expense.

Amid persistent concerns over infections through so-called community spread, the government said online classes will start online April 9.

The new academic year here usually starts in early March, but the country already had postponed it three times over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

South Korea has been pushing for an extensive 15-day social distancing campaign since March 22 to stem small-scale cluster infections.

Citizens are strongly urged to stay home, except for essential needs or jobs. The government has also strongly recommended people suspend religious gatherings, indoor sports activities, and visits to nightclubs and other entertainment venues.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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