South Korea reports 79 new coronavirus cases, most since April 5

South Korea sees highest daily coronavirus spike in more than a month

The government began taking a new approach earlier this month to allow a return to normal life while preventing new infections.

South Korea has reported its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases in 53 days, triggering warnings it may have to revert to stricter social distancing measures after appearing to have brought the outbreak under control, The Guardian reports.

But new group infections from a popular nightlife district in Seoul splashed cold water on the fight. Among them, around 2,800 tested negative for COVID-19, with others awaiting their results.

As of Wednesday noon, a total of 259 cases have been linked to Itaewon clubs and bars.

After successfully controlling community spread due to strict social distancing and quick testing, the country has faced a large-scale cluster in the capital city.

The country's vice health minister Kim Kang-lip warned Wednesday that cases linked to the logistics center may rise. Authorities are finding out whether the cases from the center and Itaewon are connected. Tests on 1,900 workers have been completed so far.

Initial investigations determined that the logistics center did not follow basic guidelines, including maintaining distance between people at its cafeteria.

Under the measure, health authorities will apply a strong social distancing scheme in the capital city and surrounding areas through June 14, Yonhap reports.

Health authorities had recorded 79 new coronavirus infections nationwide the day before, the highest increase in nearly two months, lifting the total number of infections to 11,344. By Thursday morning, more than 80 cases had been confirmed among employees and people they had been in contact with.

The two cases showed similar symptoms to the rare illness Kawasaki.

It is unclear if the recent spikes in infections will halt a phased reopening of schools, which had been a major accomplishment in the nation's anti-virus campaign.

There were no new delays, however, to the phased reopening of schools that is now underway.

Students have been returning to classes since last week, with more than 2million pupils going back to classes on Wednesday this week. Some 450 schools already have chose to delay their normal routine.

It is the second rate cut in three months, after a surprise 50-basis-point reduction to 0.75 percent in March.

The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries came to 10,340, up 45 from the previous day.

South Korea has carried out 852,876 tests since Jan 3, including 13,401 conducted a day earlier.

"In case of the Bucheon logistics center, almost 70 people have been infected in three days since the first patient was identified", Kwon Joon-wook, deputy-general of KCDC, said in a separate briefing.



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