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Govt. considers strengthening mask requirements, reports 16 new coronavirus cases


South Korea reported 16 more cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the national’s total number of infections to date to 11,206, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

The daily caseload of new infections dipped below 20 for the first time in four days, while health authorities are staying vigilant as cases linked to a cluster that appeared in Seoul’s nightlife district of Itaewon in early May continue to emerge.

The number of cases linked to the Itaewon cluster surpassed 225 as of Sunday as the respiratory virus spread to people who had come into close contact with those who visited clubs and other night entertainment facilities in Itaewon. The government will update the figure later today.

On Monday, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo stressed that all citizens play an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.

“Group infections that started in Itaewon spread through clubs, bars and karaoke (places) and now there are 1.3 times more patients who got infected by contact than those who caught the virus at Itaewon,” he said.

The government is considering strengthening mask-use guidelines and requirements for public transport nationwide, Park said.

Administrative orders on mask-wearing are in place in Seoul, Incheon, Daegu and a few other cities.

Of the new infections, six occurred in Seoul, six in Gyeonggi Province and one each in Daegu, Incheon and North Gyeongsang Province. One was detected at a border checkpoint.

The country’s death toll stood at 267, one more than a day earlier.

Of the 11,206 people confirmed infected with COVID-19 since the first case was reported Jan. 20, 10,226 -- 91.25 percent -- have been released after making a full recovery.

By Park Han-na (
Korea Herald daum