Seoul [South Korea], July 4 (ANI): South Korea on Saturday reported over 60 new coronavirus cases for the second straight day as infections outside the Seoul metropolitan area hardly show signs of slowing down, raising concerns that second round of pandemic outbreak may return to an upward trajectory.
The country added 63 cases, including 36 local infections and 27 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 13,030, Yonhap news agency reported citing official data fro the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
Of the locally transmitted infections, the number of cases from Gwangju, 330 kilometres south of Seoul, fell to eight after reporting double-digit numbers of daily cases on Thursday and Friday, the KCDC said in a statement.
The greater Seoul area reported 28 new cases, with its surrounding Gyeonggi Province adding 19 new infections. Daegu, once the hotbed of the country's virus outbreak, added one new case. The city accounts for more than half of the country's COVID-19 cases here, due to thousands of virus infections traced to a religious sect in the city.
Over the past two months, the densely populated Seoul and the surrounding area, which house around half of the country's 51-million population, took up most of the newly added cases here.
The trend has prodded health authorities to focus on curbing the spread of the virus in the greater Seoul area. Last month, they decided to indefinitely apply toughened infection preventive measures in the region amid the growing number of patients from clubs and door-to-door businesses.
The KCDC had said last week that the government will adopt three levels of social distancing and countermeasures, depending on the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The country currently recommends Level 1 social distancing, which is implemented when the medical system can manage the number of virus cases. The government plans to apply Level 2 distancing measures if daily infections exceed 50 for 14 straight days but remain below 100, and Level 3 measures if daily infections far exceed 100, the KCDC said.
Under Level 2, all private and public indoor meetings of 50 or more and outdoor meetings of over 100 will be banned. Under Level 3, all meetings of 10 people or more will be banned, and all students will be prohibited from going to schools.
The country reported one additional death, with the death toll staying at 283.
The 27 new imported cases were the highest since June 23. Imported cases marked a double-digit rise for the ninth consecutive day.
The total number of people released from quarantine after full recoveries stood at 11,811, up 52 from the previous day. This indicates that more than 90 per cent of the COVID-19 patients here have been cured.
The country has carried out 1,319,523 tests since January 3. (ANI)