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(LEAD) S. Korea reports 8 more cases of new coronavirus, total now at 10,661

All News 10:46 April 19, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details throughout, photo)

SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Sunday reported eight more cases of the new coronavirus, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,661, with the daily increase falling to a single digit for the first time in about two months.

The figure, detected on Saturday, marked another decrease from a day earlier when the number of new infections reached 18, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Of the eight new cases, five were detected from arrivals from foreign countries.

The number of South Korea's daily new cases reached a peak of 909 on Feb. 29.

(LEAD) S. Korea reports 8 more cases of new coronavirus, total now at 10,661 - 1

The number of new infections stayed below 30 from Monday to Friday and slipped to below 20 on Saturday.

Despite the signs of a slowdown, health authorities still remain vigilant over new cases coming from overseas, as well as over those who are retesting positive for COVID-19.

The nation's death toll from the novel virus, which emerged in China late last year, rose by two to 234, according to the KCDC.

The number of patients released from quarantine after making full recoveries reached 8,042, up 105 from a day earlier.

The southeastern city of Daegu, the nation's worst virus-hit region, added two new cases. Its surrounding North Gyeongsang Province reported only one new case as well.

Daegu, located around 300 kilometers south of Seoul, currently accounts for around 64 percent of the nation's total cases.

The total number of cases reported in Daegu and the surrounding North Gyeongsang Province reached 6,832 and 1,359, respectively.

Seoul, the most populous city of South Korea, also reported only two new cases, with the surrounding Gyeonggi Province adding no new COVID-19 infections.

South Korea has been enforcing a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for all travelers coming from overseas to better contain imported cases since April 1.

It also has been intensifying its social distancing drive since late March, recommending that churches, sports facilities and clubs suspend operations to curb cluster infections of the virus.

The country is expected to announce soon its decision on whether to further extend the guidance, which is supposed to be in effect until Sunday.

The country has conducted virus tests on 550,109 people so far. The virus was first detected in the country on Jan. 20.

Medical workers get ready to enter a special ward for coronavirus patients at Keimyung University Daegu Dongsan Hospital in the southeastern city of Daegu on April 17, 2020. (Yonhap)


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