|A health worker wears a protective gown to look after coronavirus patients at Seoul Medical Center, Monday. Yonhap|
So far, 51 people, mostly elderly patients with underlying illnesses, have died in South Korea from the respiratory virus that emerged in China late last year, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.
About 60 percent of confirmed cases have been linked to a branch of the Shincheonji religious sect in Daegu, which, at a population of 2.5 million, is the country's fourth-largest city.
The pace of daily new inflections has shown signs of slowing down in recent days as health authorities have completed extensive testing of 210,000 Shincheonji followers who are at the center of the rapid spread, but authorities are still on high alert over new clusters of infections.
Of the 248 new cases, which were detected on Sunday, 190 are in Daegu and 26 are in North Gyeongsang, the KCDC said.
Other major provinces and cities have also reported some infections, with Seoul reporting 10 additional cases.
Since raising the virus alert level to "red," the highest level, on Feb. 23, health authorities have focused on halting the spread of the virus in Daegu and North Gyeongsang.
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