Testing for the novel coronavirus on patients and staff at all nursing hospitals in the southeastern city of Daegu, the nation's epicenter of the outbreak, has almost been completed, city government officials said Sunday.
The Daegu city government has been testing for COVID-19 on all patients and staff at a total of 394 care hospitals located in the city, after a number of cluster infections occurred in such facilities.
A total of 33,610 people, or 94.6 percent, underwent testing over the past 10 days, with testing of the 1,856 people remaining scheduled to be completed within the day, they said.
Out of the total, 227 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the officials said.
While Daegu and neighboring North Gyeongsang Province saw signs of stabilization in the number of new virus infections, cases of community spread with unknown origins, mostly cluster and sporadic outbreaks, have been on a gradual rise.
An additional 25 people from nursing hospitals and other medical facilities in the city were newly confirmed on Saturday.
The city government said 36 such facilities have been placed under cohort isolation as part of a precautionary measure.
Cohort isolation is the separating of a group of patients with the same infectious disease from others. The method has proven effective in preventing the further spread of disease within medical facilities.
The country reported fewer than 100 new daily virus cases again on Sunday, bringing the total to 8,897, but health authorities remained on high alert over new cluster infections and imported cases, mainly from Europe.
The pace of daily new infections has slowed markedly as health authorities completed extensive testing of 210,000 followers of the Shincheonji religious sect at the center of the rapid spread. (Yonhap)