SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 as health authorities struggle to contain a resurgence that’s erasing some of the country’s hard-won gains against the virus.
Figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday brought the national caseload to 12,421 confirmed infections including 280 deaths.
It said 24 of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which have been the center of the country’s outbreak since late May.
Ten others were reported from the central city of Daejeon, indicating that the virus was beginning to spread more broadly, apparently as a result of increased public activity and complacency in social distancing.
The KCDC said nearly 200 infections so far have been linked to employees at a door-to-door sales company in Seoul, which mostly hired people over 60. Seventy other cases were linked to a table tennis club in another part of Seoul, where members also passed the virus at a church.
Health authorities earlier found hundreds of cases linked to nightspots, e-commerce workers and church gatherings.
While some experts say the country should reimpose stronger social distancing guidelines after easing them in mid-April, officials have been reluctant to do so over concerns of hurting an already fragile economy.
Follow AP news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak