South Korea Sees Increase of Nearly 300 New Coronavirus Cases

February 26, 2020 Updated: February 26, 2020
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South Korea on Feb. 26 reported 284 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the largest tally in a day since the country reported its first confirmed case last month.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) announced 115 new cases late on Feb. 26. Earlier in the morning, the government reported an increase of 169 new cases from the previous day.

South Korea now has at least 1,261 known cases of coronavirus and 12 fatalities. Among them, 24 have fully recovered from the disease and been discharged from hospital.

Feb. 26 also marks six consecutive days that South Korea reported triple digits in new cases, starting with 100 cases reported on Friday, 229 cases on Saturday, 169 cases on Sunday, 231 cases on Monday, and 144 cases on Tuesday.

Of the 284 new cases reported on Wednesday, 167 are in Daegu and 68 are in the broader North Gyeongsang province.

Daegu and North Gyeongsang province have seen the majority of the confirmed cases in South Korea, with 710 and 317, respectively.

The majority of known infection cases in South Korea are connected either to Shincheonji Church in Daegu or Daenam Hospital in Cheongdo, a county in North Gyeongsang province. At least seven of the 12 deaths are connected to the hospital.

There has been a large spike in cases in Daegu and nearby areas, after a 61-year-old female follower of the church tested positive for the virus on Feb. 18 as the country’s 31st confirmed case.

The South Korean government has begun testing about 210,000 followers of the church in an effort to contain the outbreak.

Also on Feb. 26, a U.S. military soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea tested positive for coronavirus—the first U.S. soldier to be infected by the virus.

Camp Carroll is located in the village of Waegwan, which is about 12 miles from the city of Daegu.

Local outlet Yonhap News Agency reported late on Wednesday afternoon that the infected U.S. solider had been transferred from his off-base residence to a hospital at U.S. Army garrison Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, which is about 43 miles south of the capital Seoul.

According to Yonhap, 16 countries have imposed entry restrictions against travelers from South Korea. Among them, Japan, Vietnam, and Singapore have banned entry to travelers who have been to Daegu or Cheongdo in the past 14 days.

The Philippines has imposed an entry ban on travelers from North Gyeongsang province, local newspaper Manila Bulletin reported on Wednesday. 

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