S.Korea reports 64 more COVID-19 cases, 8,961 in total
South Korea reported 64 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of midnight Monday local time, raising the total number of infections to 8,961.
The newly confirmed cases fell below 100 for the second straight day, after recording 147 on Saturday. The caseload moved above or below 100 for the past week.
Seven more deaths were confirmed, lifting the death toll to 111. The total fatality rate came in at 1.24 percent.
A total of 257 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 3,166. The number of recoveries kept surpassing new infections.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) decided to update the data once a day at 10:00 a.m. local time from March 10, after having announced it twice a day.
The virus infection soared for the past weeks, with 8,930 new cases reported from Feb. 19 to March 22. The country has raised its four-tier virus alert to the highest "red" level.
The total number of infections in Daegu, about 300 km southeast of Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province increased to 6,411 and 1,256 respectively. It accounted for about 86 percent of the total.
The numbers in Seoul and its adjacent Gyeonggi province came to 330 and 351 each.
Daegu became the epicenter of the viral spread here as the biggest cluster of infections was found in the metropolis with a 2.5 million population. Daegu has been designated by the government as a "special disaster zone."
The Daegu cluster was closely linked to the church services of a homegrown minor religious sect, called Sincheonji, in Daegu. Members of the sect are known to sit on the floor closely side by side during church services.
Since January 3, the country has tested more than 338,000 people, among whom 315,447 tested negative for the virus and 13,628 were being checked.