South Korea reported 79 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most since April 5 and the third straight day of rising infections, raising the specter of a second wave of disease in a country widely praised for containing the initial outbreak.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said at least 69 cases so far this week have been linked to a cluster of infections at a logistics facility operated by Coupang Corp, one of the country’s largest online shopping firms, in Bucheon, west of Seoul.
According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the new cases brought the country’s total as of midnight on Wednesday to 11,344 with 269 deaths. South Korea’s robust program of testing earlier this year was credited with helping the number of deaths comparatively low in a global pandemic that has now killed more than 350,00.
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The warehouse cluster appears linked to an outbreak that emerged in several Seoul nightclubs and bars in early May, the KCDC said, and comes as the country seeks to ease social distancing rules, reopen schools, and keep new virus infections in check.
Unlike many countries,