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New virus cases rebound due to continuous imported infections
  • By Shim Hyun-tai
  • Published 2020.08.04 13:46
  • Updated 2020.08.04 13:46
  • comments 0

Korea’s new Covid-19 cases rose above 30 on Monday amid sporadic community spreads and unrelenting new arrivals.

The nation recorded 34 new cases -- 13 local infections and 21 foreign ones -- raising the cumulative caseload to 14,423 as of midnight Monday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The total number of people released from quarantine after full recoveries reached 13,352, up 72 from the previous day. The death toll remained unchanged at 301. The country, with a population of 50 million, has tested out 1,589,780 people since Jan. 3.

Of the 13 local outbreaks, six new cases occurred in Seoul, three in Gyeonggi Province, and one in North Gyeongsang Province, Busan, Incheon, and Gwangju. The local infections remained at a single-digit in the previous three days.

In Daegu, the southeastern city that was once the epicenter of the nation’s massive outbreak, the number of confirmed patients stayed put at 6,942 as no additional cases were reported, the health officials said. It has been 32 days since July 4 that the city reported zero infections.

Out of the 21 imported cases, eight patients were from the U.S., two from Mexico, Russia, and Uzbekistan, and one from Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Senegal. The total number of foreign arrivals has reached 2,482, accounting for nearly 17 percent of the cumulative caseload.

By nationality, seven were Koreans, and 14 were foreigners. Seven of them tested positive for the virus in the screening process at either an airport or a seaport. In contrast, 14 others were confirmed to have the virus while under self-quarantine, according to the public health agency.

Although the domestic Covid-19 infection rate has been slowing down recently, health officials are on edge as new cluster infections linked to a patient with an unknown path of infection continue to spread sporadically.

According to the health officials, the cluster infection that recently began from a café and a restaurant in Seoul has spread to more people who had contacted the silent spreaders.

Infectious disease experts pointed out that the fact virus has already spread from cafe to workplaces and restaurants have shown the risk of silent spreaders.

“There is no sanctuary amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Face masks are the only vaccine available because having a conversation or a meal together unknowingly spreads droplet,” said Professor Kim Woo-joo of Korea University Guro Hospital.


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