SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) — South Korea reported the biggest rise in daily new coronavirus cases in nearly a month Saturday, driven by a fresh spike in imported cases amid fears looming over a second wave of infections.
The country added 67 new COVID-19 cases, the largest since the 79 tallied on May 28 and a jump from Friday’s 49, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The total caseload came to 12,373.
Of the new cases, 31 came from overseas and the 36 others were locally transmitted.
The spike in imported cases is the biggest since the country reported 40 such cases on April 5. South Korea saw a marked drop in imported cases to as few as a single digit for the past several weeks, compared with a range of 30-40 between late March and early April.
The surge in imported cases deepens worries about another possible wave of infections and puts further strains on health authorities despite the months of all-out efforts to stem the virus. South Korea reported its first case on Jan. 20.
A total of 1,427 cases have come from abroad, the KCDC said.
Of the new imported cases, all but three came from Asia excluding China, including 16 from Pakistan and seven from Bangladesh. The three others came from North America.
On Friday, authorities said seven Bangladeshi nationals and two South Koreans tested positive for the virus after entering South Korea on the same flight from Dhaka.
Including the imported cases, Seoul reported 14 new cases, raising the total caseload to 1,202, with the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and Incheon logging 17 and five, respectively.