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(LEAD) S. Korea reports 3 more COVID-19 cases, total now at 10,804

All News 10:52 May 05, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more information in paras 5-8: ADDS photo)

SEOUL, May 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported three more cases of the new coronavirus Tuesday, again marking an apparent slowdown in the spread of the disease.

The country now has reported fewer than 10 new infection cases per day for six consecutive days.

It is the first time in 77 days the country has recorded fewer than four new infections since Feb. 18. The three new cases, identified Monday, also came from overseas.

A drive-thru market selling agricultural products opens in Gwacheon, south of Seoul, on April 29, 2020, in an effort to avoid coronavirus infections. (Yonhap)

No additional cases have been confirmed locally since Sunday, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

With the possible slowdown in the spread of the disease here, the Seoul government has decided to relax its monthslong social distancing campaign.

School will begin opening to students in phases next Wednesday, while the government will shift its social distancing campaign to what it calls an "everyday-life quarantine scheme" this week.

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo, however, said the move does not indicate an end of the outbreak.

"Social distancing in everyday life does not mean the termination of COVID-19," Park said in a Seoul meeting held earlier Tuesday. "It means each and every one of the citizens is now responsible for his or her own hygiene."

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo (L) speaks in a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters in Seoul on May 5, 2020. (Yonhap)

So far, 9,283 patients here have been released after making full recoveries, up 66 from a day earlier, according to the KCDC.

The country's death toll came to 254, up two from Monday.

The country has so far tested 640,237 people for COVID-19. Over 96 percent, or 620,575 of them, have tested negative.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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