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S. Korea reports 57 new virus cases, above 50 for 2nd consecutive day

All Headlines 10:40 June 07, 2020

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported 57 more cases of the new coronavirus Sunday, marking the second straight day the number was above 50, raising concerns over new cluster infections in the densely populated greater Seoul area ahead of the final phase of school reopening.

The new infections raised the country's total caseload to 11,776, 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 10,552, up 21 from the previous day, according to health authorities.

This photo taken June 6, 2020, shows medical workers collecting individual samples from students at Incheon Beauty Arts High School in Incheon, just west of Seoul, after one of the school's students tested positive for the coronavirus a day earlier. (Yonhap)

Of the 53 non-imported cases, all but four were reported in Seoul and adjacent areas. Seoul added 27 cases, while Incheon, west of Seoul, and Gyeonggi Province, surrounding the capital, each reported six and 19 cases, the KCDC said.

The authorities remain on high alert as more South Korean pupils are set to return to classes Monday in the final phase of the government's reopening plan amid growing anxiety over a second wave of COVID-19 infections in Seoul and adjacent cities.

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 Seoul-based health product retailer Richway, which specializes in door-to-door sales for mostly elderly consumers.

The Richway cluster is considered especially risky as a majority of the cases are elderly patients who are more vulnerable to the virus than the younger age groups.

Health authorities plan 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.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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