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S. Korea confirms 196 new coronavirus cases, total 6,284

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-03-06 09:44
A woman wearing a mask to prevent contracting the coronavirus stretches as she takes a walk at a Han river park in Seoul, South Korea, March 5, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

South Korea confirmed 518 more cases of the COVID-19 on Friday, raising the total number of infections to 6,284.

As of midnight local time, the number of infected patients totaled 6,284, up 518 from 24 hours ago. Seven more deaths were reported, lifting the death toll to 43.

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 16 days, with 6,253 new cases reported from Feb. 19 to March 5. 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 4,693 and 984 respectively. It accounted for about 90 percent of the total.

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.

Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 160,000 people, among whom 136,624 tested negative for the virus and 21,832 were being checked.

Twenty more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, raising the combined number to 108.

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