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(LEAD) S. Korea reports no new local virus cases ahead of eased social distancing

All News 10:43 May 04, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info throughout)

SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported eight more cases of the new coronavirus on Monday, all of which came from overseas, as the country is set to further relax its monthslong social distancing guidelines amid a marked slowdown in new infections.

The newly added COVID-19 cases brought the nation's total infections to 10,801, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The latest tally marks the third time that the country has reported no locally transmitted virus infections, the KCDC said.

On April 30, the country reported no additional local virus cases for the first time in 72 days. On Saturday, there were also no domestic virus cases.

An army conscript disinfects a classroom at an elementary school in the southeastern city of Daegu on May 1, 2020, as part of efforts to prevent coronavirus infections among children. The country is preparing for the physical reopening of schools after weeks of online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Yonhap)

The slowdown in new infections prompted the country to end its 45-day long social distancing campaign and shift toward so-called everyday life quarantine scheme from Wednesday.

The country believes it has virtually contained the domestic COVID-19 outbreak, although imported cases linger as a threat.

Of the eight cases announced on Sunday, all of them were imported, raising the country's total number of such cases to 1,099, the KCDC said. More than 90 percent of the imported cases are South Korean nationals.

An exhibition game between the Kiwoom Heroes and the Doosan Bears is under way at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 29, 2020. The game was played without spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Yonhap)

The nation's death toll increased by two to 252, the KCDC said.

In total, 9,217 people in South Korea have recovered from the virus, up 34 from a day earlier. So far, 85 percent of the patients have been cured. The overall fatality rate reached 2.33 percent.

The country, with a population of around 50 million, has tested 633,921 people since Jan 3, including 2,948 tests carried out a day earlier.

Daegu, the nation's worst virus-hit region located 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, added no cases. The city accounts for 64 percent of the nation's total COVID-19 cases.

Health authorities said they are remaining vigilant over the holiday that runs through Tuesday, as many citizens are traveling across the country amid overseas travel restrictions.


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