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S. Korea reports 110 new virus cases, total now at 7,979

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

South Korea reported 110 new cases of the new coronavirus Friday, slightly down from 114 new cases a day earlier, bringing the nation's total infections to 7,979, as health authorities ramp up measures to contain cluster infections across the nation.

The 110 new cases marked the lowest number of daily infections in more than two weeks.

So far, 67 people, mostly elderly patients with underlying illnesses, have died in South Korea from the respiratory virus that emerged in China late last year, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

About 61 percent of confirmed cases have been linked to a branch of the Shincheonji religious sect in Daegu, which is the country's fourth-largest city with a population of 2.5 million.

The pace of daily new inflections has shown signs of slowing in recent days as health authorities completed extensive testing of 210,000 Shincheonji followers who are at the center of the rapid spread, but authorities are still on high alert over new clusters of infections, including at a call center in Seoul's Guro district and the country's government complex in the administrative city of Sejong.

Of the 110 new cases, 61 are in Daegu and four are in North Gyeongsang, the KCDC said. The total number of confirmed cases in Daegu and North Gyeongsang, the two epicenters of the virus outbreak here, stood at 5,928 and 1,147, respectively.

Other major provinces and cities have also reported some infections, with Seoul reporting 13 additional cases.

Since raising the virus alert level to "red," the highest level, on Feb. 23, health authorities have focused on halting the spread of the virus in Daegu and North Gyeongsang.

The World Health Organization declared Wednesday that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic as the virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica. (Yonhap)



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