South Korea confirmed 438 more cases of the COVID-19 on Thursday, raising the total number of infections to 5,766.
As of midnight local time, the number of infected patients totaled 5,766, up 438 from 24 hours ago. Four more deaths were reported, lifting the death toll to 36.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has updated the data twice a day at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time.
The virus infection soared for the past 15 days, with 5,735 new cases reported from Feb. 19 to March 4. The country has raised its four-tier virus alert to the highest "red" level.
The total number of infections in Daegu, about 300 km southeast of Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province increased to 4,326 and 861 respectively as of midnight. It accounted for about 90 percent of the total.
Daegu became the epicenter of the viral spread here as the biggest cluster of infections was found in the metropolis with a 2.5 million population.
The Daegu cluster was closely linked to the church services of a homegrown minor religious sect, called Sincheonji, in Daegu.
Daegu has been designated by the government as a "special care zone".
Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 140,000 people, among whom 118,965 tested negative for the virus and 21,810 were being checked.
Forty-seven more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, raising the combined number to 88.