SEOUL: South Korea reported 93 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday (Mar 18), maintaining a downward trend in daily infections, but concerns about new outbreaks around small clusters persisted.

The daily tally marked the fourth day in a row that the country has posted fewer than 100 new infections, although slightly up from 84 recorded the day before, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

It brought South Korea’s total infections to 8,413, the KCDC said. The death toll rose by three to 84.

The downward trend in overall infections has raised hopes that Asia’s largest epidemic outside China may be abating, but authorities expressed concerns about small clusters of infections reported over the past few weeks.

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Of the new cases, 46 were from the hardest-hit city of Daegu where a new outbreak emerged from a nursing home, although the KCDC did not specify how many cases were traced to that facility.

Authorities have launched extensive checks on tens of thousands of “high-risk” facilities, including nursing homes, hospitals, call centres, computer cafes and karaoke bars in a bid to control the epidemic. 

Scores of events – from K-pop concerts to sports matches – have been cancelled or postponed over the contagion, and President Moon Jae-in announced Tuesday the formation of an emergency economic council.

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