World • 17 March, 2020

New cases in S. Korea stay low for 3rd day

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South Korea recorded daily new infections of the new coronavirus in the double digits for the third straight day on Tuesday, but the daily tally in Seoul and its neighboring areas surpassed that in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, the two epicenters of the fast-spreading virus, Yonhap news agency reports.

The 84 new cases, which were detected on Monday and followed 74 new cases detected on Sunday and 76 new cases last Saturday, brought the nation's total infections to 8,320, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

Of the 84 new cases, 32 are in Daegu and five are in North Gyeongsang, the KCDC said. The total number of confirmed cases in Daegu and North Gyeongsang, the two hardest-hit regions, stood at 6,098 and 1,169, respectively.

Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul and Incheon, saw their new daily infections rise by 44 to 558 on Monday.

It was the first time that a daily tally in the capital area surpassed that in Daegu and North Gyeongsang as health authorities scramble to halt cluster infections across the nation.

So far, 81 people, mostly elderly patients with underlying illnesses, have died in South Korea from the respiratory virus that emerged in China late last year, the KCDC said.

In South Korea, the virus has preyed on the elderly and already sick people. The KCDC said 70.4 percent of deaths were of people in their 70s and above as of Monday. Another 19.8 percent of fatalities were of those in their 60s. No death from a virus patient younger than 29 has been reported.

About 61 percent of confirmed cases have been linked to a branch of the Shincheonji religious sect in Daegu, which has a population of 2.5 million and is the country's fourth-largest city.

This graph, provided by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) on March 17, 2020, shows daily new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and total infections in South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
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