A medical worker of hospital of Yeungnam University makes health screening at a drive-through clinic in Daegu, South Korea, March 4, 2020. South Korea confirmed 293 more cases of the COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the total number of infections to 5,621. As of 4 p.m. local time, the number of infected patients totaled 5,621, up 293 from the previous announcement as of midnight. Two more deaths were reported, lifting the death toll to 33. (Photo by Lee Sang-ho/Xinhua)
SEOUL, March 4 (Xinhua) -- South Korea confirmed 293 more cases of the COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the total number of infections to 5,621.
As of 4 p.m. local time, the number of infected patients totaled 5,621, up 293 from the previous announcement as of midnight. Two more deaths were reported, lifting the death toll to 33.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has updated the data twice a day at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time.
The virus infections soared for the past two weeks, with 5,155 new cases reported from Feb. 19 to March 3. The country has raised its four-tier virus alert to the highest "red" level.
The total number of infections in Daegu, about 300 km southeast of Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province increased to 4,006 and 774 respectively as of midnight. It accounted for almost 90 percent of the total.
The readings in Seoul and its adjacent Gyeonggi province gained to 99 and 101 each.
Daegu became the epicenter of the viral spread here as the biggest cluster of infections was found in the metropolis with a 2.5 million population.
The Daegu cluster was closely linked to the church services of a homegrown minor religious sect, called Sincheonji, in Daegu.
The health authorities said about 65.6 percent of the total contagions nationwide were relevant to cluster infections, including the biggest cluster of the Sincheonji Daegu branch and other smaller clusters.
Daegu has been designated by the government as a "special care zone."
Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 136,000 people, among whom 102,965 tested negative for the virus and 28,414 were being checked.
Seven more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, raising the combined number to 41.