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S. Korea dogged by double whammy of local, imported cases, new infections at over 1-week high

National 10:20 June 28, 2020

SEOUL, June 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases spiked again Sunday in the face of a steady rise in both locally transmitted infections and imported cases, further complicating the country's virus fight.

The country added 62 cases of COVID-19 as of midnight, including 40 local infections, raising the total caseload to 12,715, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The tally marked a rise from 51 on Saturday to bounce back to over 60 for the first time since hitting 67, the most in a month, on June 20.

A medical worker collects a sample from a person at a coronavirus screening clinic in Okcheon, North Chungcheong Province, on June 28, 2020, in this photo provided by the city government. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Of the locally transmitted cases, 13 cases were reported in densely populated Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul, 13 in Seoul and six in Daejeon, about 160 kilometers south of Seoul, the KCDC said.

South Korea has been gripped by sporadic cluster infections since it relaxed stricter social distancing on May 6. The greater Seoul area accounted for most of the newly added cases this month.

Health authorities are on alert over rising trends in cluster infections, with most traced to door-to-door retailers, churches and day care centers for senior citizens.

Health officials have warned that they could consider expanding tougher infection preventive measures -- currently in place only in the Seoul metropolitan area -- across the country, if virus situations get worse.

The country is also struggling to stem cases coming in from overseas -- once the main source of virus cases here -- as the number of such daily cases has continued to show double-digit increases since mid-June.

A total of 22 additional imported cases were reported on Sunday, after 20 on Saturday and 20 on Wednesday, the KCDC said.

South Korea, meanwhile, reported no additional deaths, with the total death toll remaining at 282. The fatality rate was 2.22 percent.

The total number of people released from quarantine after full recoveries stood at 47, bringing total cured patients at 11,364.

The country has carried out 1,251,695 tests since Jan. 3.

khj@yna.co.kr
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