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S. Korea reports 242 more cases, total at 7,755

At least 90 people linked to a call center in Seoul tested positive for coronavirus


South Korea reported 242 novel coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 7,755 on Wednesday, as health authorities grapple with mass cluster infection cases in the country’s capital.

Six more people died Tuesday, bringing Korea’s death toll to 60, according to data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 242 new cases across the country, 52 new cases were reported in Seoul, with 12 each in Incheon and in Gyeonggi Province. The largest portion of new cases were linked to a call center in southwestern Seoul, in the latest cluster of infections.

At least 90 people related to the call center in Guro-gu and their family members tested positive for COVID-19, according to Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, making it the largest cluster of infections in the country’s capital so far.

There were 131 new cases in the southeastern city of Daegu, which has been at the heart of the country’s virus outbreak, along with 18 in North Gyeongsang Province, according to the data. The number of cases in the region represents 90 percent of the country’s total.

Some 80 percent of the country’s total cases have been linked to infection clusters, most of which can be traced to the Daegu branch of an enigmatic religious sect called the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, according to the KCDC.

So far, 60 people, mostly those in their 60s or older with underlying illnesses, have died from COVID-19 here, with the overall fatality rate at 0.77 percent. The death rate here stands at 4.35 percent for those in their 70s and 7.2 percent for those in their 80s.

A total of 7,407 people confirmed with novel coronavirus remain in quarantine, while 288 people have been released after making full recoveries.

The number of people awaiting test results for the virus stood at 18,540. The country has so far tested a total of 214,640 people, with 196,100 testing negative as of Tuesday midnight.

By Ock Hyun-ju (