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SEOUL, July 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea saw its daily new virus cases hover below 50 on Tuesday for the second consecutive day, but a steady rise in both locally transmitted infections and imported cases continued to put a strain on the country's efforts to contain further spread.
The country added 44 cases, including 20 local infections, raising the total caseload to 13,181, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
It marks the first time in two weeks that the number of imported cases surpassed that of the local infections.
The tally marked a slight decrease from 61 new cases of COVID-19 reported Sunday and 63 new cases on both Friday and Saturday. The country added 48 new cases on Monday.
Of local infections, seven cases were reported in Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul, followed by six in the southwestern city of Gwangju, the KCDC said. Three cases were reported in Seoul, the KCDC said.
South Korea has been dogged by a rise in sporadic cluster infections in the country's southern region including Gwangju since late last week following mass infections tied to a Buddhist temple in the city.
A total of 87 cases had been tied to a Buddhist temple, named Gwangneuk, in Gwangju as of late Monday. The figure includes cases from a church, also in the city, as the two clusters were found to have connections.
The greater Seoul area has also recorded a continued rise in cluster infections in religious facilities and door-to-door businesses.
The country reported 24 additional imported cases, raising the total of such cases to 1,690, according to the KCDC.
Sixteen of them were detected at quarantine checkpoints, indicating that two out of three imported cases were entrants either from airports or ports.
South Korea has posted a double-digit number of imported cases for 12 consecutive days.
South Korea, meanwhile, reported one more death, bringing the death toll to 285. The fatality rate was 2.16 percent.
The total number of people released from quarantine after full recoveries stood at 11,914, up 66 from the previous day.
The country has carried out 1,346,194 tests since Jan. 3.
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