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62 mass infection cases reported at hospital in Daegu


A new cluster of novel coronavirus infections emerged Friday in Daegu, the city at the heart of Korea’s novel coronavirus outbreak, with 62 people at a mental health hospital confirmed to be infected with the virus.

As of noon Friday, 62 people -- 61 inpatients and 1 staff member -- had tested positive for the virus from the mental health hospital, with the number of infections feared to rise, according to the Daegu Metropolitan Government.

The mental health hospital, which houses 286 patients and 72 staff members, shares a building with a nursing home from which 90 people had tested positive for the virus as of Friday, according to the municipality.

Patients and staff members were all tested for the virus, with 49 of them still awaiting results, the municipality said.

Daegu, the country’s fourth largest city with a population of 2.5 million, is at the center of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, with cases there accounting for 69.82 percent of the country’s total.

Most of the cases in Daegu, or 54.5 percent, can be traced to a branch of the fringe religious sect Shincheonji Church of Jesus, according to the government data.

South Korea reported another 91 novel coronavirus cases Friday, bringing total confirmed infections to 9,332. The death toll stands at 139.

By Ock Hyun-ju (