S. Korea: New clusters at senior care homes see triple-digit numbers in new Covid-19 cases

SEOUL, Oct 26 (The Korea Herald/ANN): South Korea saw a triple-digit increase in the number of new daily Covid-19 cases on Monday, due to sporadic outbreaks traced to senior care homes and social gatherings, as well as a continued influx of imported cases.

Korea added 119 new coronavirus cases -- 94 locally transmitted and 25 imported from overseas -- in the 24 hours ending Sunday at midnight, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

The daily case count climbed to 155 on Friday, the highest single-day rise since Sept. 17, but fell below 100 over the weekend due in part to fewer diagnostic tests being carried out. Some 6,118 tests were done the previous day.

The number of cases has fluctuated around 100 for the past two weeks since the country eased antivirus restrictions, though the authorities appear to have gained more control of the virus situation given the decrease in the number of cases where transmission routes were unknown.

The proportion of cases with unknown infection routes was 10.8 percent for the past two weeks as of Sunday, according to the KDCA.

Health authorities, however, are on alert over clusters of infections found at hospitals, nursing homes and social gatherings across the country, as well as the growing number of people taking part in autumn activities such as hiking and picnics.

The run-up to Halloween on Oct. 31 is also giving the authorities a headache, as many people are expected to celebrate the occasion at packed nightlife spots.

Of Monday’s locally transmitted cases, the majority were in Greater Seoul -- 20 in Seoul, 65 in Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the capital, and three in Incheon. Three cases were reported in South Gyeongsang Province and one each in Daejeon, North Chungcheong Province and South Chungcheong Province.

Korea reported 25 imported cases. Of them, eight were identified while the individuals were under mandatory self-quarantine in Korea, with the other 17 detected during the screening process at the border. Seventeen cases were from elsewhere in Asia, while six were from Europe, one from the United States and one from Ivory Coast. Of the 25 cases, all 25 involved foreign nationals.

The number of Covid-19 patients in serious or critical condition here was 53 as of Monday.

No additional deaths were reported, with the death toll unchanged at 457. The overall fatality rate is now 1.76 per cent.

So far, of the 25,955 people confirmed to have contracted the new coronavirus here, 23,905 have been released from quarantine upon making full recoveries, up 36 from a day earlier. Some 1,593 people are receiving medical treatment under quarantine.

The country carried out 6,118 tests in the past day, with over 2.55 million tests conducted since Jan. 3. Some 20,763 people were awaiting results as of Monday. - The Korea Herald/Asian News Network

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