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(LEAD) Nearly half of new virus cases reported in capital area: data

All News 11:38 April 03, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 5-6, 9)

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- Almost half of the new virus cases reported in South Korea on Friday were those in Seoul and surrounding areas, raising concerns over mass transmission in the area that is home to half of the country's population.

The country reported 86 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 10,062, according to the data by the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Of the new cases, 42 were reported in Seoul, nearby Gyeonggi Province and Incheon, west of Seoul. Gyeonggi Province added 23 cases, while Seoul and Incheon reported 18 cases and one case, respectively.

This photo, provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, shows taxi drivers at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, waiting to drive international arrivals to the capital on April 3, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)(Yonhap)

While the KCDC releases specific causes for infections at 2 p.m., most of the new cases were assumed to be linked to imported cases and cluster infections at hospitals and churches.

In updated data released at 11 a.m., the Seoul city government reported 25 new cases from the previous day, with 19 of them being imported cases or families of people who arrived on international flights.

Two new cases were reported in relation to Manmin Central Church, a fringe religious church in the southwestern ward of Guro, bringing the total number of cases there to 38. An additional case traced to a call center, also in Guro Ward, brought infections there to 98.

The latest figures raise concern over the pandemic further affecting the capital area where the presidential office, foreign and defense ministries as well as key corporate headquarters are located.

South Korea has issued a 14-day social distancing advisory, closed schools and tightened quarantine measures against international arrivals in its efforts to contain the virus.

The Seoul city government said that all international arrivals who are based in the city will be subject to mandatory screening starting Friday. The city runs taxi and bus services for people arriving from abroad and is set to install a mass walkthrough screening center at a former Olympics venue.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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