South Korea on Wednesday morning reported no new locally transmitted infections of the novel coronavirus and just two imported cases over the past 24 hours — its lowest daily tally in 78 days.
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded only one new case of COVID-19 on Feb. 18. Eleven days later, the country hit a peak with more than 900 new cases registered in a single day.
Since then, the country’s rate of infections has slowly declined. The worst-hit city of Daegu reported zero new cases over the past 24 hours, according to South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
South Korea once had the largest novel coronavirus outbreak outside China, where the virus first emerged, but appears to have brought it under control with an extensive “trace, test and treat” strategy. A total of 10,806 people in the country have been diagnosed with COVID-19, of which 9,333 have recovered and 255 have died, according to South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
South Korea returned to a sense of normalcy on Wednesday as the nation eased its strict social-distancing measures that were put in place to curb the spread of the virus. People resumed their daily routines while museums and libraries reopened under the relaxed rules.
The number of new cases reported in the country have stayed low for weeks, but health authorities remain wary of cluster infections and imported cases.