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New virus cases again up by double digits; cluster infections still drag in virus fight

All News 10:01 October 14, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new virus cases rose by double digits on Wednesday as sporadic cluster infections across the nation and imported cases are dragging on the country's virus fight.

The country added 84 more COVID-19 cases, including 53 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,889, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). It marked a fall from 102 cases reported on Tuesday.

The number of daily new local infections also went down from 69 a day earlier.

Fans attend a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game between the Hanwha Eagles and the Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Oct. 13, 2020. The government eased social distancing rules over the coronavirus, allowing sports leagues to admit crowds of up to 30 percent of stadium capacities. (Yonhap)

On Monday, South Korea eased most of its strict restrictions on daily activities as there have been no massive outbreaks following the Chuseok holiday, the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving, and a separate three-day break to celebrate the proclamation of the Korean alphabet.

South Korea suffered a major uptick in virus cases in mid-August, mostly traced to a conservative church in northern Seoul.

The number of daily new local infections shot up to 441 on Aug. 27, a sharp hike from 103 on Aug. 13. The figures stayed in the triple digits until reaching 82 on Sept. 20.

Despite some ups and downs, the daily new infections mostly stayed around 100 afterwards.

Under eased social distancing, high-risk facilities, such as clubs, karaoke rooms, bars and buffet restaurants, including those in the greater Seoul area, are now allowed to operate normally. They are, however, obligated to follow infection prevention measures, including having visitors wear masks and keeping entry logs.

Starting earlier in the day, people are required to wear protective masks on public transportation and at medical facilities and rallies. Violators can be fined starting in November after a month of grace period.

Of the newly identified local infections, 23 cases were reported in Seoul and 15 cases in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital, the KDCA said. Incheon, just west of Seoul, also reported eight new cases.

The southern port city of Busan added two new cases as well. The central city of Daejeon added four cases.

Daily new imported cases reached 31, down from 33 a day earlier, the KDCA said. Yet the number stayed above the 30-mark for the second day in a row.

South Korea added four more deaths, raising the death toll to 438.

The number of patients in serious or critical condition came to 85, down six from the previous day.

The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries stood at 23,030, up 167 from the previous day.

khj@yna.co.kr
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