A woman wearing a mask to prevent contracting the coronavirus reacts as employees from a disinfection service company sanitize a traditional market in Seoul. (Photo: Reuters)
SEOUL: South Korea reported 505 additional coronavirus infections in its largest daily increase on Thursday, as the United States issued a new warning against travel to the Asian nation, and their militaries postponed a joint drill.
The new cases take total infections to 1,766, the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (KCDC) said, for the largest daily jump since the first confirmed infection on Jan. 20. South Korea also reported the 13th death.
Of the new cases, 422 were in the southeastern city of Daegu, the location of a church at the center of South Korea’s outbreak, the KCDC said in a statement.
The U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory level, urging citizens to “reconsider travel” to South Korea.
In Seoul, the capital, people waited in long queues at some stores to buy masks, which have been in short supply, despite only a few dozen infections reported in the city.
The past week’s sudden surge in cases has ignited criticism of the government’s handling of the crisis, particularly a decision to limit arrivals from China, rather than imposing a blanket ban.
(With inputs from agencies)