South Korean authorities announced on Monday that the country had 161 more new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of domestic cases to 763.
The number of infections in South Korea in the previous announcement and the afternoon of February 23 was 602, prompting the government to raise the alert level to the highest level.
Although quarantine efforts have been strengthened, South Korea continues to witness an increase in the number of infections, with at least 7 people dying from the new strain of coronavirus. Most cases are concentrated in the fourth largest city of Daegu in the country and neighboring North Gyeongsang Province.
The seventh death was a 62-year-old man who was connected to a hospital in the southern Cheongdo district. More than 110 people, including 9 health workers, at Daenam Hospital have been confirmed to be infected with the new strain of corona virus.
With a total of 763 positive cases, South Korea became the place with the most virus infections outside of China. Earlier, the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was docked in Yokohama port in Japan , was the site of the highest number of virus infections with more than 500 cases.
Of the new infections, 129 were associated with the Shincheonji (New Heavenly) sect in Daegu, according to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
A 61 year old woman, a member of the sect, is believed to have infested others while attending church services in Daegu. Called “Patient No. 31,” this person was identified as a “super-infectious” case by officials.
The two largest outbreaks in Korea are Daegu, where the New Heavenly sect church, and the hospital in Cheongdo.
As the number of infections and deaths increased rapidly, South Korea raised the disease warning level to the highest level on a four-stage scale, the first time in more than a decade.
“The Covid-19 epidemic is facing a huge change,” President Moon Jae In said Monday. “The next few days are a very important period.” On February 21, South Korea declared the city of Daegu and Cheongdo district as “areas of special interest”.
Eleven soldiers were confirmed to be infected by the morning of February 24, an increase of four more than the previous day. In addition, about 7,700 military members are in quarantine to monitor, according to South Korea’s Ministry of Defense.