South Korea’s Health Ministry reported 79 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, its largest daily jump in two months and second straight day the country saw an increase in new cases.
Thursday’s total is nearly double the 40 new cases reported Wednesday, which was the highest figure in 49 days.
South Korea’s deputy health minister, Kim Kang-lip, said 54 of the new cases were from a parcel delivery distribution center for the e-commerce firm Coupang in Bucheon, west of Seoul, adding to 15 earlier cases found at the same location. He said about 4,100 workers who were believed to have not followed social distancing and other safety procedures properly are being isolated and tested.
It is unclear if the recent spikes in infections will halt a phased reopening of schools, which had been a major accomplishment in the nation's anti-virus campaign.
The Education Ministry on Wednesday said class openings were delayed at 561 schools nationwide because of virus concerns.
South Korea was reporting around 500 new cases per day in early March before managing to stabilize its outbreak with aggressive tracking and testing, which allowed officials to relax social distancing guidelines.
South Korea has now reported 11,344 cases and 269 deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. No new deaths were reported Thursday.