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(LEAD) S. Korea reports 34 new virus cases, biggest single-day jump in one month

All News 11:23 May 10, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with details and background; CHANGES headline; ADDS photo)
By Kim Kwang-tae

SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported 34 more cases of the new coronavirus Sunday, the biggest single day spike in a month, due apparently to the latest cluster infection blamed on clubs in Seoul's multicultural district of Itaewon.

The new cases raised South Korea's total cases of COVID-19 to 10,874, and the nation's death toll remained unchanged at 256, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The hike is the biggest single day jump since April 9 when South Korea reported 39 more cases of the new coronavirus and sparked fears that the once-slowing outbreak could worsen out of control again.

The number of daily new cases fell to 32 on April 12 and had since fallen below 30.

Crowds of people walk around the Seomyeon district of downtown Busan, South Korea's second-largest city, on May 9, 2020. (Yonhap)

The spike came after a 29-year-old patient, whom health authorities consider to be the first case in the cluster infection, visited five clubs and bars in Itaewon from the night of May 1 to the early hours of the following morning.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun instructed officials to find an estimated 1,510 people who visited clubs in Itaewon last week and test them for the novel coronavirus.

The KCDC has urged visitors of those clubs to self-isolate to limit the possible spread of the virus.

Also Saturday, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon imposed an administrative order to effectively suspend business at clubs, bars and other nightlife establishments in the capital city.

The precautionary measure will remain in place until further notice, without specifying a date.

Last week, South Korea shifted to a relaxed, everyday form of social distancing, allowing people to resume outdoor activities and public events, including holding spectator-free professional sports games and religious services.


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