South Korea reports 9 new coronavirus cases in clear sign of slowdown in infections

Medical workers prepare to work a shift at Keimyung University Daegu Dongsan Hospital, Korea, on April 19, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEOUL - South Korea reported yet another single-digit number of new cases of the new coronavirus on Tuesday (April 21) in a clear sign of a slowdown in new infections, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,683, Yonhap news agency reported.

South Korea detected just nine new Covid-19 infections on Monday, marking the third day in a row that the country's new virus infections stayed below 15, according to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Five of the newly added cases were imported, the data showed.

The country announced a single-digit number of new cases on Sunday for the first time in two months at eight, followed by 13 cases the following day.

The plateauing figures mark a drastic drop from the Feb 29 peak of 909 new cases. The country confirmed its first Covid-19 infection on Jan 20.

South Korea's death toll from the coronavirus rose by one to 237, the authorities said.

In total, 8,213 virus patients in South Korea have been discharged from hospitals, up 99 from a day earlier. So far, the country has carried out tests on 571,014 people since Jan 3.

The number of new infections continued to slow in Daegu, the nation's worst virus-hit region that accounts for around 64 per cent of the total cases, with just two additional cases.

North Gyeongsang Province, which surrounds Daegu, reported no additional infections.

Seoul, the most populous city of South Korea, reported two new cases, with the surrounding Gyeonggi Province adding two new Covid-19 infections as well.

Starting Monday, South Korea applied a relaxed social distancing advisory on some facilities including gyms and cram schools as the number of new Covid-19 infections showed a continued downward trend.

South Korea announced it will maintain the social distancing drive until May 5, but it will ease some rules under the condition that such facilities comply with safety measures, Yonhap reported.

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