Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-09 17:01:54|Editor: yhy
Soldiers load medical relief supplies in Nonsan in South Chungcheong Province, South Korea, March 9, 2020. South Korea confirmed 96 more cases of the COVID-19 on Monday, raising the total number of infections to 7,478. (NEWSIS/Handout via Xinhua)
SEOUL, March 9 (Xinhua) — South Korea confirmed 96 more cases of the COVID-19 on Monday, raising the total number of infections to 7,478.
As of 4:00 p.m. local time, the number of infected patients totaled 7,478, up 96 from the previous announcement as of midnight. Two more deaths were reported, lifting the death toll to 53.
Among the patients, 42 were in critical conditions, raising a possibility for the fatality increase.
Thirty-six more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, raising the combined number to 166.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has updated the data twice a day at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time.
The virus infection soared for the past 19 days, with 7,351 new cases reported from Feb. 19 to March 8. The country has raised its four-tier virus alert to the highest “red” level.
The total number of infections in Daegu, about 300 km southeast of Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province increased to 5,571 and 1,107 respectively as of midnight. It accounted for about 90 percent of the total.
The numbers in Seoul and its adjacent Gyeonggi province stood at 130 and 152 each.
Daegu became the epicenter of the viral spread here as the biggest cluster of infections was found in the metropolis with a 2.5 million population. Daegu has been designated by the government as a “special care zone.”
The Daegu cluster was closely linked to the church services of a homegrown minor religious sect, called Sincheonji, in Daegu. Members of the sect are known to sit on the floor closely side by side during church services.
The health authorities said 62.5 percent of patients were relevant to the cluster infections of the Sincheonji sect.
Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 196,000 people, among whom 171,778 tested negative for the virus and 17,458 were being checked.