Asia Today: South Korea's cases surpass 50 for 2nd day
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Sunday reported 57 additional cases of the coronavirus, marking a second day in a row that its daily jump is above 50 as authorities struggle to suppress a spike in infections in the densely populated Seoul area.
The new cases took the country’s total to 11,776 with 273 deaths.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 10,552 of them have recovered while 951 others remain in treatment.
South Korea’s caseload peaked in late February and early March when it recorded hundreds of new cases each day. But the outbreak has significantly eased amid aggressive tracing, testing and treatment, prompting authorities to loosen strict social distancing rules.
The new cases in recent weeks have been linked to nightclubs, an e-commerce warehouse, church gatherings and door-to-door sellers in the Seoul metropolitan area.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
— CHINA HAS FIRST LOCAL INFECTION IN WEEKS: China on Sunday reported its first non-imported case of the new coronavirus in two weeks, an infected person on the island of Hainan off the southern coast. The National Health Commission said there were also five imported cases in the previous 24-hour period, bringing the nation’s total case count to 83,036. China has largely stopped the spread of the virus at home, though it continues to have occasional localized outbreaks. It is on guard against imported cases as it begins to ease restrictions on flights and people arriving from abroad. The official death toll in China is 4,634.
— AUSTRALIA HOPES NO INFECTION FROM RALLIES: Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said he hopes the Black Lives Matter rallies across the country on Saturday that broke COVID-19 social distancing rules will not lead to a new wave of infections. More than 20,000 people marched in Sydney and crowds rallied in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and some regional cities and towns despite public health warnings. “We don’t know whether people will be infected,” Hunt told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. “But if there is someone who is infectious in the midst of a crowd like that, that can have a catastrophic impact.” Australia has had over 7,250 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 102 deaths.
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