|A medical center's emergency coronavirus testing site in Gyeongsan, North Gyeongsang Province, is crowded Feb. 22, mostly with residents of the province's Cheongdo county, which is near the city where the number of those infected with the novel virus has risen sharply in the past several days. Yonhap|
The government reported 142 new cases of the new coronavirus Saturday, bringing the total number of infections in South Korea to 346.
The number of COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) infections has spiked in the past several days, with most new infections traced to Daenam Hospital in the southeastern county of Cheongdo, and a minor Christian sect in the southeastern city of Daegu.
Of the 142, 92 are related to Daenam Hospital, where South Korea's first fatality occurred, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said Saturday.
A 63-year-old man, who died of pneumonia at the hospital, Wednesday, posthumously tested positive for the virus.
On Friday, another patient at the same hospital died from a disease related to the virus, the second death here.
The KCDC said 38 new cases were linked to the Christian sect known as Sincheonji in Daegu, about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and the neighboring North Gyeongsang Province.
More than 100 virus patients have been traced to the church's services.
On Friday, the government Korea declared that Daegu and the adjacent Cheongdo County were "special care zones" as a cluster of coronavirus cases has been reported there in recent days.
Daegu, home to 2.4 million people, is South Korea's fourth-largest city. (Yonhap)