(ATTN: RECASTS lead, para 2; UPDATES with more info throughout)
SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported more than 50 additional coronavirus cases Friday due to a continued rise in cluster infections tied to a distribution center in a city just west of Seoul, threatening to derail health authorities' virus fight amid concerns over another potential wave of the outbreak.
The newly added 58 COVID-19 cases, including 55 local infections, raised the total caseload to 11,402, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
Friday's newly identified cases marks a slowdown from the nearly two-month high of 79 the previous day but still put renewed strain on the country's virus response capability. All the new cases were reported in greater Seoul areas.
Most of the new infections were tied to a distribution facility run by e-commerce leader Coupang in Bucheon, west of Seoul.
So far, at least 90 cases have been traced to the center since the first patient was confirmed last week, according to the KCDC and local governments.
The logistics center cluster has brought to the fore the vulnerability of workplaces where many people work in a close environment without strictly complying with quarantine measures.
Coupang and Market Kurly, an online grocery delivery platform, also reported virus infections at their logistics centers in Goyang, north of Seoul and in eastern Seoul, respectively.
Alarmed by the spike in virus cases, health authorities opted to impose a tighter social distancing campaign in the densely populated metropolitan area -- Seoul and the surrounding areas, home to half of the country's population of more than 50 million -- over the next two weeks through June 14.
South Korea's "everyday life quarantine" is in peril, as the outbreak of more than 50 new daily cases poses a threat to health authorities' plan to stick to the scheme.
The country switched to the scheme on May 6 to enable citizens to carry out social and economic activities under quarantine rules amid a slowdown in virus infections.
A series of mass infections has jeopardized health authorities' drive over the past few weeks to bring the virus outbreak under control, with another cluster tied to nightclubs and bars in Seoul's nightlife neighborhood.
The total caseload linked to Itaewon clubs and bars reached 261 as of noon Thursday, according to the KCDC.
The country, meanwhile, added three imported cases and reported no additional deaths, with the total death toll staying at 269. The fatality rate was 2.36 percent.
The total number of people released from quarantine after full recoveries stood at 10,363, up 23 from the previous day.
The country has carried out 885,120 tests since Jan. 3.
Advertising controversy grips S. Korean mukbang YouTubers
Seoul's last-ditch home supply plan still in doubt over its viability
Korean foodmakers ramp up overseas push amid COVID-19 pandemic
Bumpy road lies ahead for Samsung, even after heir avoids detention
One month into eased social distancing, S. Korea wrestles with cluster infections, cases with unknown routes