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South Korea reports biggest rise in coronavirus cases since March

Coronavirus Aug 23, 2020 01:55AM ET
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© Reuters. South Korean police stand guard near the Sarang Jeil Church, which has become a new cluster of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, in Seoul
 
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By Cynthia Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean authorities reported the highest daily rise in novel coronavirus cases since early March on Sunday, saying tougher social distancing rules may be needed as outbreaks continued to spread from a Seoul church and other gatherings.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 397 new infections as of midnight Saturday, up from the previous day's 332 and marking more than a week of daily three-digit rises.

That brings South Korea's total infections of the new coronavirus to 17,399 with 309 COVID-19 deaths, it said.

From Sunday, the government extended second-tier social-distancing rules which had been in place in Seoul to other areas of the country, banning in-person church meetings and closing nightclubs, buffets and cyber cafes.

Health authorities say they may eventually deploy the toughest stage 3 social-distancing rules, where schools and business are urged to close, if the rate of increase in new infections does not slow soon.

"We're on the brink of a nationwide pandemic as the number of new cases are increasing in all 17 regions across the country," said Jung Eun-Kyeong, Director General at the KCDC at a briefing on Sunday.

"Please stay home as much as possible, unless you absolutely need to (be out) for necessities, or for work and visits to doctors."

Families posted notes on social media saying they had cancelled vacation plans to nearby hotels and the southern resort island of Jeju to comply with government guidelines.

On Friday, health authorities said South Korea's coronavirus infections were back "in full swing" as hundreds of infections have started to come out from the Sarang Jeil Presbyterian Church run by a far-right preacher.

Jung said a total of 841 confirmed cases were related to the church so far.

Members of the church attending an anti-government protest in Seoul on Aug. 15 have also led to new cases across the country, while another recent cluster has been linked to a Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) store.

South Korea reports biggest rise in coronavirus cases since March
 

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Comments (4)
Jay Jung
Jay Jung Aug 25, 2020 7:27PM ET
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Moon is SOB. He is a Xijinping follower. South Korea is under Xi's control. Xi broke US-Korean alliance.
Jim Robertson
Jim Robertson Aug 25, 2020 6:50PM ET
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How can we spin this to make Trump responsible like a worthless Democrat politician would do? Hhhmmm...
Danny Yoo
Danny Yoo Aug 25, 2020 7:24AM ET
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caused by Mr.moon ,, friend of Mr. Xi in China
Brad Smith
Brad Smith Aug 23, 2020 5:46AM ET
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Has South Korea also recorded their biggest rise in fungal toe infections since March? That would be just as relevant.
David FL
David FL Aug 23, 2020 5:46AM ET
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You would probably know the difference of the 2 infections should you be unlucky to succumb to either. For example fungal toe infection not generally reported to ********so many people in such a small timeframe.
 
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