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S. Korea reports 51 new virus cases, most in 8 days

All News 10:40 June 06, 2020

SEOUL, June 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported 51 more cases of the new coronavirus Saturday, the most in eight days, raising the alert over new cluster infections popping up across the densely populated greater Seoul area.

The new infections raised the country's total caseload to 11,719, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said. This is the highest number of daily infections since the 58 reported May 29.

The death toll remained flat at 273, while the number of people released from quarantine after fully recovering totaled 10,531, up 25 from the previous day, according to health authorities.

This June 5, 2020, photo shows health workers waiting to carry out virus checks of business owners and employees on a street in Euljiro, which is known for outdoors bars, in central Seoul. The test was conducted as part of precautionary measures to resume outdoor seating. (Yonhap)

Of the 43 non-imported cases, all but three were reported in Seoul and adjacent areas.

Seoul added 23 cases, while Incheon, west of Seoul, and Gyeonggi Province, surrounding the capital, each reported 10 and seven cases.

The latest data comes as South Korea is grappling with a string of group infections linked to religious gatherings, nightclubs and a distribution center in the metropolitan area since relaxing its social distancing scheme on May 6.

Also among the most recently identified clusters was a Seoul-based health product retailer, which specializes in door-to-door sales for mostly elderly consumers.

Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip said that cases traced to the company have reached 34, with 73 percent of them being elderly patients who are more vulnerable to the virus.

The sharp increase is widely expected to heighten concerns ahead of the fourth and final round of school reopening scheduled for Monday.

It is also expected to put health authorities on heightened alert over containing the further spread of the infectious virus.

Earlier, health authorities decided to reinforce social distancing guidelines for the metropolitan area, shuttering public facilities again and ordering entertainment establishments to refrain from opening until June 14.

If the figures from the metropolitan area rise, South Korea will have to consider a return to strict social distancing.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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