SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- Seoul and the surrounding area saw another double-digit increase in new coronavirus cases, data showed Wednesday, raising concerns over a possibly bigger outbreak in the populous area.
New infections reported in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Incheon totaled 36 as of midnight, more than doubling from 14 reported the previous day, according to the data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
While the KCDC releases details on the latest infections in press briefings later in the day, the new cases are assumed to be linked to an infection cluster originating from nightspots in the Seoul neighborhood of Itaewon and a new cluster coming from a retail logistics center in Bucheon.
Authorities have confirmed a chain of transmission traced to the Itaewon cluster, with cases involving up to seven stages of transmission reported among some of the patients.
In Bucheon, just outside of Seoul, a logistics center associated with e-commerce giant Coupang has also emerged as a new infection cluster.
The city, which is part of Gyeonggi Province but also sits close to the port city of Incheon, has announced its return to the former level of social distancing starting Wednesday to contain additional infections.
Under the plan, schools in the area will remain closed and run online classes for all graders except for high school seniors, who already resumed in-person classes last week.
Following more than a month of strict social distancing, South Korea switched to an "everyday life quarantine" scheme on May 6 to enable citizens to resume normal life under quarantine rules.