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Korea's coronavirus cases surpass 7,000, death toll nears 50

A staff at a hospital in Gangneung, Gangwon Province collects samples for testing on Saturday. Yonhap
A staff at a hospital in Gangneung, Gangwon Province collects samples for testing on Saturday. Yonhap

The number of COVID-19 patients rose to 7,041 on Saturday, with 274 additional cases being confirmed as of 5 p.m.

According to the government’s central response team, Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province continued to see the largest increase in the number of cases.

Of the 483 cases confirmed Friday, 390 were in Daegu and 65 in North Gyeongsang Province. The number of COVID-19 cases in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province now stands at 6,133, accounting for 90.6 percent of South Korea’s total.

Kim Gang-lip, vice minister of health and welfare, said now that the majority of high-risk individuals in Daegu have been tested, the rate of increase in the city is likely to slow.

Testing of high-risk groups in Daegu is nearing completion, Kim said, including over 90 percent of Daegu’s Shincheonji believers, so the number of confirmed cases in the city was stabilizing.

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus is a Christianity-based cult that has played a critical role in the spread of COVID-19 in Korea.

The number of deaths nationwide stands at 47, which equates to a fatality rate of 0.7 percent. Most of those who died were over the age of 60 and were suffering from other medical conditions. According to government data, 84.1 percent of those who died were over 60.

After Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, Gyeonggi Province has the next-largest number of COVID-19 cases, followed by Seoul. The number of COVID-19 patients in Gyeonggi Province stands at 130, and the figure for Seoul is 108.



By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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