South Korea reports fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases for first time since Feb. 29 peak

FILE PHOTO: A couple wearing masks to protect against contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk along a street in Seoul, South Korea, April 3, 2020. REUTERS/Heo Ran

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea reported fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases on Monday for the first time since its Feb. 29 peak as daily infections in Asia’s largest outbreak outside China continued to trend downward.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 47 new infections, compared with 81 recorded a day earlier, taking the national cumulative tally to 10,284.

The death toll rose by three to 186, while another 135 people have recovered from the virus for a total of 6,598.

South Korea has largely managed to bring the epidemic under control for now, with around 100 or fewer new daily cases, but it was the first time the rate of daily cases dropped below 50.

But smaller outbreaks in churches, hospitals and nursing homes, as well as infections among travellers, continue to emerge, prompting the government on Saturday to extend an intensive social distancing campaign that was scheduled to end on Monday by two weeks.

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Kenneth Maxwell

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