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(LEAD) S. Korea reports 31 more cases of new coronavirus

11:16 August 01, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 5-6, 10-13)

SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases dipped slightly to around 30 on Saturday, amid the country's stepped-up efforts to curb imported infections and local transmissions among vacationers at campsites.

The country reported 31 additional cases, including 23 imported ones, bringing the total caseload to 14,336, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The number of new locally transmitted cases stood at eight.

The latest tally marked a slight decrease from 36 new cases reported Friday. But health authorities tightened vigilance amid concerns about continued inflows of the virus from abroad and local contagion during the summer vacation season.

The country's imported cases have recently risen due to infections among South Korean workers returning home from Iraq and Russian sailors. Imported cases, which hit a record high of 86 on July 25, have increased by double-digit numbers for more than a month.

Of the new imported cases, 14 were from Iraq, two from Uzbekistan, and one each from the Philippines, Russia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Poland, Brazil and Senegal.

Of the 23 cases from abroad, 19 were found at airports or ports, while the remainder tested positive while in quarantine at their homes or temporary accommodations.

Virus cases traced to Russian ships docked in South Korean ports have emerged as a new source of cluster infections. Starting Monday, sailors aboard ships from Russia will be required to submit a certificate showing they have tested negative for COVID-19.

South Korea also began on-board quarantine inspections on not only ships coming from Russia but also vessels departing from six high-risk countries -- Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and Uzbekistan.

In a comforting development for the quarantine authorities, the number of locally transmitted cases fell back below 10. Of the new eight cases, five were from Gyeonggi Province, two from Seoul and one from North Gyeongsang Province.

The health authorities have recently been reinforcing efforts to stop transmissions at campsites and other vacationing sites. As of noon Friday, the number of infections linked to a campsite in Hongcheon, 100 kilometers east of Seoul, rose to nine.

The country reported no additional fatalities, leaving the death toll at 301, according to the KCDC.

The number of patients fully cured of the virus reached 13,233, up 50 from the previous day.

South Korea has carried out 1,571,830 tests since Jan. 3.

People wait at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on July 31, 2020. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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