The government confirmed 114 additional cases of the new coronavirus on Thursday, pushing up the total to 7,869. Sixty-six people, mostly elderly patients with underlying illnesses, have died so far from COVID-19, while hospitals discharged 333 fully recovered patients.
Incheon municipal government said that it confirmed two more new coronavirus patients – two of its citizens working at the call center in Seoul’s Guro-gu, which emerged as the first source of super-spread in the capital city.
Ninety-three cases of coronavirus infection were found to be linked to the call center in southwestern Seoul.
According to the local government, 17 confirmed patients in Incheon are related to the call center building, including the two Incheon residents who responded positively to the test after contacting with staff who had been confirmed.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said that the government should focus on preventing group infection and stop further spread that has occurred in the capital area.
Commenting on the World Health Organization's pandemic declaration, Chung said that the number of group infections of the unknown route is increasing in Korea, too.
"The super-spread can happen in the capital area where half of the entire Korean population is living," the prime minister said. "Central and local governments, as well as the medical community, should quickly and aggressively work together to head off any more group infections.
Although the World Health Organization had finally announced the COVID-19 as a pandemic, Korea does not need to change its current approach much, experts said, noting that the global body is unlikely to avoid accusations for its belated move.
The experts have pointed out that COVID-19's spread has long entered the pandemic phase. Pandemic is a new disease spreading globally, and COVID-19 meets the requirement, they said.
As of midnight Wednesday, the number of people tested for COVID-19 in Korea totaled 234,998, aside from the confirmed 7,869 patients. Among the total, 217,271 showed a negative response with the results of the other 17,727 under analysis. The confirmation rate is 3.6 percent, and the fatality rate remains at 0.8 percent.
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