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S. Korea adds 44 coronavirus cases, 24 imported from overseas


South Korea reported 44 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, with the number of imported cases exceeding domestic cases for the first time in two weeks as many parts of the world grapple with surging coronavirus infections.

Of the total, 24 cases were imported and the rest locally transmitted, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the imported cases, 16 people were detected during the quarantine screening process at the border and the rest while under home quarantine after arrival.

The imported cases, however, are less of a concern, health authorities have said, as the patients are under their watch after either being detected at the border or coming under monitoring during the mandatory two-week isolation.

As for locally transmitted cases, six were registered in Gwangju in connection with a previously identified Buddhist temple cluster. Seven cases were reported in Gyeonggi Province, three in Seoul and two in Incheon, according to the KCDC.

Out of the country’s total 13,181 cases, 11,914 people have been released from quarantine after making full recoveries, up 66 from a day earlier. Some 982 people are receiving medical treatment under quarantine.

One more patient died, bringing the death toll to 285. The overall fatality rate stands at 2.16 percent, though it is much higher for those in their 80s or over at 24.87 percent and those in their 70s at 9.43 percent.

The country has carried out 1,346,194 tests since Jan. 3, with 23,675 people being tested as of Tuesday.

By Ock Hyun-ju (