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S. Korea's new coronavirus cases bounce back to triple digits

All News 09:57 October 15, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases rebounded to over 100 on Thursday mainly due to a new cluster infection in the southeastern port city of Busan amid an eased social distancing scheme.

The country added 110 COVID-19 cases, including 95 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,988, with the death toll reaching 439, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The number of new daily local infections is a sharp hike from 53 a day earlier and also surpassed the 50 mark, one of the country's barometers for the lowest level of its social distancing scheme.

This photo shows a disinfection worker at a nursing hospital in the southern port city of Busan on Oct. 14, 2020. (Yonhap)

The spike in new virus cases came three days after South Korea lowered its three-tier social distancing scheme by one notch.

The country earlier suffered a major uptick in virus cases in mid-August, mostly traced to a conservative church in northern Seoul. After reaching 103 on Aug. 13, the figure shot up to 441 on Aug. 27. 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.

Of the newly identified local infections, 54 cases were reported in the southern port city of Busan as more than 50 patients and workers at a nursing hospital in Busan were diagnosed with COVID-19.

The authorities said 43 patients of the Busan nursing hospital and its nine staff members tested positive for the new coronavirus. One of the infected patients has already died.

Another 22 cases were reported in Seoul, with six cases in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital and 11 cases in the western port city of Incheon, the KDCA said.

The KDCA said the number of daily new imported cases reached 15, sharply down from 31 on Wednesday and 33 on Tuesday.

South Korea added one more death, raising the death toll to 439.

The number of patients in serious or critical condition came to 82, down three from the previous day.

The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries stood at 23,082, up 52 from the previous day.

khj@yna.co.kr
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