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Korea reports 54 new COVID-19 cases

South Korea‘s daily coronavirus count increased by a double-digit figure for a second straight day, as health authorities are still on alert over a possible post-holiday resurgence.

Korea added 54 new COVID-19 cases –- 38 locally transmitted and 16 imported from overseas – according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Friday’s tally marks a drop from 69 cases added the previous day.

Before reporting double-digit figures for two consecutive days, the country’s daily infection reached 114 cases on Wednesday.

The government has been on alert as a three-day weekend with Hangeul Day starting Friday could serve as a catalyst for another resurgence in the number of fresh coronavirus cases.

The country is yet to figure out the impact of the extended Chuseok holiday, which ran from Sept. 30 to Sunday, as millions of people moved across the country for family visits or vacations.

Considering the 14-day incubation period of the coronavirus, officials have mentioned that the number of those who contracted the virus over last week’s fall harvest holiday could be reflected in the tally this week.

A number of cases have already been connected to family gatherings over Chuseok.

Six cases have been reported from a family reunion of eight members in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, on Sept. 30 as of Thursday afternoon, but officials believe chances are high for more related cases to be reported as infected members have engaged in other meetings since then.

The number of cases linked to a hospital in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province, held steady at 36, and the number of cases related to a hospital in Dobong-gu, northern Seoul, stood at 51.

Many of the locally transmitted cases were in Greater Seoul -- 17 in Seoul, 9 in Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the capital. Outside the Seoul area, five cases were reported each in Daejeon and Busan. North Chungcheong and South Jeolla provinces each reported one new case.

There were 16 imported cases, 10 of which were identified while the individuals were under mandatory self-quarantine in Korea and six of which were detected during the quarantine screening process at the border. 

Seven cases were from the United States, followed by two each from the Philippines and Indonesia and one each from India, Netherlands, Mexico, Ethiopia and Nigeria. Twelve of the imported cases involved foreign 365bet体育网址s.

The number of COVID-19 patients in serious or critical condition reached 94, down three from a day earlier. One more person died from the virus, with the death toll now at 428. The overall fatality rate is 1.75 percent.

So far, of the 24,476 people confirmed to have contracted the new coronavirus here, 22,569 have been released from quarantine upon making full recoveries, up 106 from a day earlier. Some 1,479 people are receiving medical treatment under quarantine.

The country carried out 11,389 tests in the past day, up 618 tests from a day earlier, with over 2.4 million tests conducted since Jan. 3. Some 20,699 people were awaiting results as of Friday.

Authorities are planning to announce Sunday whether it will maintain the current Level 2 social distancing rules, under which high-risk facilities are required to remain closed and restrictions apply to gatherings both indoors and outdoors.

By Ko Jun-tae (