The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Korea has risen by 104 to 9,241 over the past day, the Health Ministry's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Thursday.
The death toll has risen from 126 to 131 within the same period of time, according to the KCDC.
The largest number of new COVID-19 cases — 26 out of 104 — has been registered in the city of Daegu, while 13 more in the capital of Seoul, 14 others in the province of Gyeonggi, and 12 in the province of North Gyeongsang. The number of recovered people has risen by record 414 to 4,144.
The number of new coronavirus cases reported daily stands at around 100 for a second day in a row as the country toughens measures to contain a spike in imported cases. Starting Friday, the government extends a two-week quarantine and compulsory testing to all arrivals from the United States on top of those from Europe.
The KCDC, meanwhile, published a report saying that extensive testing and tracking people who have come into contact with COVID-19 patients had helped to avert an alarming cluster of the infection from getting out of control when an employee of a call center in the Seoul metropolitan area tested positive, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.
In three days, the building of the bustling business center was shut down, with testing facilities set up in front of it. The reports shows that 1,143 people linked to the building were tested by March 12, while 16,628 people who visited the building received mobile phone messages recommending that they get tested if they have symptoms.
As a result, 160 people linked to the call center and their family members have tested positive for the virus.
"Early identification of the first patient and containment measures helped stop a further spread," the report concluded, as quoted by the news agency.
The country has conducted more than 341,000 coronavirus tests, while results of 14,369 more tests are being processed now.