|South Korea's new COVID-19 infections returned to below 100, Friday, after triple-digit infections were reported for the previous two days, as sporadic infection clusters continued at elderly care hospitals and other risk-prone facilities. Yonhap|
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported Saturday that new COVID-19 infections had returned to below 100 for Friday, after cases were recorded in triple digits on the previous two days, as sporadic infection clusters continued at elderly care hospitals and other risk-prone facilities.
The country added 77 coronavirus cases, including 66 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 25,775, according to the KDCA. Daily new cases came to 155 for Thursday, marking the highest since Sept. 11 when the number hit 176.
New infections have been on a downward trend after a flare-up from mid-August to mid-September when the tally rose by triple digits. The country has largely managed to slow the spread of the virus on the back of tougher social distancing measures.
Last week, the country relaxed these to the lowest level in its three-tier system, after applying Level 2 measures across the nation since late August.
Under Level 1 measures, citizens are permitted to normalize most of their daily routines, with some infection prevention steps in place. Even risk-prone facilities, including clubs and bars, are allowed to operate after months-long suspensions as long as they keep entry logs and follow sanitary measures.
But continued sporadic infection cluster at facilities for the elderly have become the biggest huddle in the country's fight against the coronavirus.
The health authorities are urging people to thoroughly keep sanitary measures under the Level 1 coronavirus curbs.
Of the newly identified local infections, 22 were reported in Seoul, 32 in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital, and two cases in Incheon, west of Seoul. The greater Seoul area is home to around half of the nation's 51.6 million population.
The 11 imported cases brought this total to 3,627, with four cases coming from the United States, three from the Philippines, and one each from India, Indonesia, Iraq and Ukraine.
Two additional deaths were reported, raising the toll to 457 for a fatality rate of 1.77 percent.
The number of seriously or critically ill COVID-19 patients came to 60 as of midnight.
The total number of people released from quarantine after making a recovery stood at 23,834, up 117 from the previous day. (Yonhap)