South Korea reports rebound in new coronavirus cases after nursing home outbreak

Medical staff in protective gear work at a 'drive-thru' testing center in Yeungnam University Medical Center on March 3, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea posted a jump in new coronavirus cases on Thursday (March 19), reversing days of slowing infections after a new outbreak emerged in a nursing home in the hardest-hit city of Daegu.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 152 new cases, taking the national tally to 8,565.

The country had recorded fewer than 100 new infections for four days in a row until Wednesday.

Among the new cases, 97 are from Daegu, south-east of Seoul, where the KCDC said at least 74 patients at a nursing home have tested positive for the virus this week.

The KCDC did not specify now many of the new cases were linked to the nursing home directly.

The fresh outbreak has prompted Daegu officials to launch extensive checks on all other nursing homes involving more than 33,000 people.

"The rise in new infections could be ascribed to the nursing home where the outbreak occurred and our across-the-board survey on similar facilities", Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin told a briefing, without elaborating on the numbers.

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