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(2nd LD) Virus cases bounce back to over 100, potential uptick looming after holiday

All News 14:39 October 07, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 12-15, 1st photo)

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's daily new infections of the novel coronavirus bounced back to over 100 cases Wednesday after rising by double digits for six consecutive days as health authorities strive to curb sporadic clusters across the nation after a long holiday.

The country added 114 more COVID-19 cases, including 94 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,353, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The figure marks a sharp rise from 75 posted Tuesday and 73 cases reported Monday. It is also the first time since last Wednesday that the country's daily virus tally increased by triple digits.

Health authorities have been warning that the country could see an uptick in COVID-19 cases after the five-day Chuseok holiday that ran through Sunday.

A health worker clad in protective gear prepares to work at a COVID-19 screening clinic on Oct. 7, 2020. (Yonhap)

The government urged people to stay home during the extended fall harvest holiday, but around 30 million people are estimated to have traveled across the nation to visit their family members and relatives during the holiday.

Health authorities are especially concerned that there could have been a number of asymptomatic patients who spread the virus during the Chuseok holiday.

The country is set to have a three-day break from Friday to Sunday when Hangeul Day, which celebrates the Korean alphabet, is combined with the weekend. The country earlier designated a special two-week period for toughened virus curbs until Sunday to prevent outbreaks.

"We have to further assess the outbreak trend this week for the country's virus situation," Sohn Young-rae, a senior health officer, said. "But since we have yet to see a clear sign of a slowdown in the greater Seoul area, we urge people to refrain from having meetings and events and traveling long distances."

Health authorities said they are planning to actively file damage claims against quarantine rule violators here. So far, five municipalities have submitted claims for damage compensation against violators.

Buddhist monks wearing face masks march at an event in Daegu on Oct. 7, 2020. (Yonhap)

Of the newly identified local infections, 29 cases were reported in Seoul and 49 cases in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital. Incheon, west of Seoul, reported five more cases.

The southern port city of Busan added two cases, and North Jeolla Province reported six more patients.

The number of cases linked to a hospital in Dobong Ward, northern Seoul, reached 50 with three more patients being reported.

A hospital in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, reported 17 additional cases, increasing the total related caseload to 30.

The number of cases traced to a family in North Jeolla Province rose by three to 12.

Over the past two weeks, the number of cases with unclear transmission routes accounted for 18.3 percent of the total new cases.

The number of newly identified imported cases came to 20, up 11 from a day earlier. Of them, six cases were from Uzbekistan and three cases were from Kazakhstan. The country's total number of imported cases is now at 3,325.

There were three additional deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 425. The fatality rate was 1.75 percent.

The number of seriously or critically ill COVID-19 patients came to 102 as of midnight, down three from a day earlier.

The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries stood at 22,334, up 251 from the previous day, with 1,594 people isolated for COVID-19 treatment, down 140 from a day ago.

The country has carried out 2,378,073 coronavirus tests since Jan. 3.


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