South Korea reported four more cases of the new coronavirus Thursday, but all of them were imported cases, marking the first time that local infections have fallen to zero since the coronavirus outbreak began more than two months ago.
The four new cases brought the total to 10,765.
It was the lowest daily increase in more than two months, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The figure peaked on Feb. 29 at 909.
Despite the signs of a slowdown, local health authorities remain on the alert over the ongoing holiday, when people are expected to make trips locally.
South Koreans celebrate Buddha’s Birthday on Thursday, which will be followed by May Day on Friday and Children’s Day on Tuesday next week.
The nation’s death toll from COVID-19 rose by one to 247.
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In total, 9,059 people in South Korea have recovered from the virus, up 137 from a day earlier.
The rising number of imported cases is still a concern for South Korea. All four cases announced Thursday were imported, raising the country’s total number of such cases to 1,065.
Daegu, the nation’s worst virus-hit region located 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, added no new cases. The city accounts for 64 percent of the nation’s total COVID-19 cases.
Should the number of new infections continue to plateau by the end of the holiday, South Korea plans to ease its social distancing drive.
The country eventually plans to move on to what it calls “everyday life quarantine,” which means schools and workplaces will mostly return to their normal routines with precautions.
Health officials, however, earlier said they are pessimistic that things will fully go back to the days before the pandemic amid looming concerns over a second wave of infections later this year. (Yonhap)