© 2020 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
World

South Korea Reports No New Domestic Coronavirus Cases

A worshiper burns incense during a Birthday of Buddha service to pray for overcoming the coronavirus pandemic at Jogyesa Temple in Seoul on Thursday.
A worshiper burns incense during a Birthday of Buddha service to pray for overcoming the coronavirus pandemic at Jogyesa Temple in Seoul on Thursday.

South Korea, which waged an early battle against COVID-19 after the disease emerged from China, said on Thursday that it had no new domestic cases for the first time since a surge nearly 10 weeks ago.

The country experienced its first case on Jan. 20, but didn't see infections ramp up until mid-February. They peaked on Feb. 29 with 909 daily cases and have been trending down ever since.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported just four new coronavirus infections on Thursday, all of them cases that came from outside the country. That brings the total number in the country to 10,765, with 247 deaths.

Thursday's milestone is seen as a victory for South Korea, which has received international praise for its handling of the pandemic, with its heavy reliance on widespread testing, isolation and contact tracing to control COVID-19.

Even with the slowdown, local health authorities remain on alert over a series of holidays that begin on Thursday with Buddha's Birthday, followed by May Day on Friday and Children's Day next week, Yonhap news agency reports.

Health officials also said Thursday that they had concluded there was no local transmission of the virus during parliamentary elections earlier this month in which authorities required voters to wear masks and gloves while casting ballots, Reuters reports.

"Twenty-nine million voters participated in the April 15 parliamentary election ... Not one case related to the election has been reported during the 14 days of incubation period," Yoon Tae-ho, director general for public health policy, told a briefing, according to Reuters.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

We Need Your Help Now More Than Ever

WFAE mask

Our newsroom is hard at work covering everything from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to the aftermath of the election, the race for a vaccine and our communities' fight to rebuild. But we can't do it without you. Support our local journalism with a donation of ANY amount, and we’ll send you a free WFAE member mask courtesy of AllDayMask.com of Monroe.