South Korea faces second wave of COVID-19 infections, Japan cases spike

Seoul/Tokyo, Jul 3 (efe-epa).- South Korea reported 63 new cases Friday of COVID-19, the highest in the last two weeks due to the outbreaks detected outside of Seoul, confirming the second wave of infections in the country, while infections in also spiked.

The number of infections have been concentrated around Seoul region in recent months.

The number of cases identified on Thursday were reported a day later by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which indicated it to be the highest figure since the country reported 67 cases on June 20.

Despite the fact that Seoul and the region around the capital once again recorded the majority of the cases (28), other cities reported several infections linked to the recent outbreaks after months of being concentrated in the Seoul Metropolitan region.

The city of Daegu – situated 230 kilometers southeast of Seoul – which reported the firts major outbreak in the country since the beginning of the pandemic, listed 13 cases on Friday, which included 10 community transmission cases. The numbers in the city have crossed 10 cases in a day mark for the first time in the last three months.

Daegu and the nearby province of North Gyeongsang still has 64 percent of the total number of cases reported so far in the country following the outbreak linked to the Shincheonji religious sect.

The cities of Daejeon and Gwangju reported 4 and 6 cases respectively, which were linked to the outbreaks that originated at a Buddhist temple and a door-to- door retail company respectively.

Due to these fresh outbreaks, record number of 522 schools remained shut across the country for the first time since South Korea began reopening the schools in phases on May 20.

South Korea is one of the countries that have best managed the outbreak without imposing a lockdown or closing its borders and has so far reported 12,967 cases.

However, there are only 926 active cases in the country.

In the country, some 282 people have died due to COVID-19, taking the mortality rate due to the disease to 2.19 percent in South Korea.

For the second straight day, Tokyo surpassed more than 100 COVID-19 cases with 124 COVID-19 infections on Friday. The sudden spike in the numbers led the authorities to urge reinforcement to contain further spread of the infection.

Incumbent Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike – who is seeking reelection on Sunday’s polls as clear favorite – said in a press conference that, more than hundred cases had been recorded in a day for the second consecutive day.

Although in the last few days, Tokyo had been registering nearly 50 cases daily, Friday’s figures along with 107 cases reported a day earlier sparked off fresh concerns among the authorities as it marked a setback in their attempts at seeking the new normal following the end of health emergency.

Tokyo had last registered more than hundred cases in a day on May 2.

Tokyo, a city with 14 million residents, has so far recorded 6,523 COVID-19 cases along with 325 deaths, marking one third of the total cases and deaths due to the novel coronavirus reported in the country. EFE-EPA


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