South Korea reports 93 new coronavirus cases, total 8,413

SEJONG: South Korea reported 93 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday (March 18), maintaining a downward trend in daily infections, but concerns about new outbreaks around small clusters persisted.

The daily tally marked the fourth day in a row that the country has posted fewer than 100 new infections, although slightly up from 84 recorded the day before, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(KCDC).

It brought South Korea’s total infections to 8,413, the KCDC said. The death toll rose by three to 84.

The downward trend in overall infections has raised hopes that Asia’s largest epidemic outside China may be abating, but authorities expressed concerns about small clusters of infections reported over the past few weeks.

The mayor of the South Korean city worst-hit by the coronavirus says 87 new cases have been discovered from local nursing hospitals, raising concerns about a possible spike in infections after they waned over the past week.

Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin said on Wednesday that 74 of the cases came from a single hospital and that the 57 patients who were infected would be transferred to other facilities for treatment.

The infections at nursing homes weren’t fully reflected in national figures announced by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or KCDC, which said the cases in Daegu rose by 46 in the 24 hours ending midnight Tuesday.

South Korean officials have struggled to stem infections at hospitals, nursing homes, disability institutions and other live-in facilities, which critics say have been poorly regulated for years.

The KCDC says 116 cases and 10 deaths have been linked to a hospital in Cheongdo, near Daegu, where infections surged among patients hospitalized at a psychiatric ward.

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