New cases of coronavirus stay below 30 for 5th consecutive day

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New cases of coronavirus stay below 30 for 5th consecutive day

Korea saw 22 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, maintaining the number of new infections at less than 30 for five consecutive days, the authorities said Friday.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), 22 new cases were reported Thursday, bringing the nation’s total up to 10,635. The total number of deaths was 230, up by one.

Among the 22 new cases, 14 were imported cases. No new cases were reported in Daegu, the country’s worst-hit city, for the first time this week. Four new cases were reported in nearby North Gyeongsang.

According to the KCDC, 72 people recovered from the disease as of Thursday, bringing the total number of cured patients to 7,829. The recovery rate was 73.6 percent.

Korea’s daily record of new infections peaked on Feb. 29 with 909 cases, but the number continuously dropped since then as the government promoted a social distancing campaign.

The government has said it will loosen the current quarantine and disinfection guidelines if the number of new daily cases drops below 50 a day for a certain period and if less than 5 percent of the cases are infections with unknown causes. While discussions are ongoing with experts on the possibility of loosening the current restrictions, no decision was made Friday.

According to Yoon Tae-ho, a senior Ministry of Health and Welfare official, experts advised that it is premature to ease the strict social distancing campaign.

By SER MYO-JA [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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