South Korea confirms 142 more cases of COVID-19, 346 in total

Patients infected with the novel coronavirus are seen at a makeshift hospital converted from an exhibition center in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 5, 2020. The makeshift hospital converted from an exhibition center in China's epidemic-hit Wuhan city began accepting patients Wednesday. The hospital can provide about 1,600 beds to infected patients. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi)

South Korea confirmed 142 more cases of the COVID-19 on Saturday, raising the total number of infections to 346.

As of 9 a.m. local time (0000 GMT), the number of infected patients totaled 346, up 142 from the previous day. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has updated the figure twice a day at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time.

Of the new patients, 131 were residents in Daegu, about 300 km southeast of the capital Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province.

The total number of infections in Daegu and North Gyeongsang province soared to 283 from 152 in the prior day.

Of the total cases, 169 were linked to the church services of a minor Christian sect, called Sincheonji, in Daegu.

The 108 other cases were traced to Daenam Hospital in Cheongdo county, just south of Daegu.

At the hospital, the first and second deaths from the COVID-19 virus were reported on Wednesday and Friday each.

The number of COVID-19 infections rose sharply in recent days, after 173 new cases were reported from Wednesday to Friday.

Daegu and Cheongdo were designated as a “special management zone” on Friday, while protest rallies were banned in downtown areas of Seoul.

Health authorities kept the four-tier virus alert at the second-highest “orange” level, vowing to take measures with an urgency corresponding to the highest “red” level.

Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 19,000 people, among whom 13,794 tested negative for the COVID-19 virus and 5,481 were being checked. Enditem

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