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Coronavirus

South Korea Reports 38 New Cases of COVID-19

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 38 new cases of COVID-19, all but one in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where officials have been scrambling to stem transmissions linked to nightspots, workplaces and church gatherings.

The figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday brought national totals to 11,541 cases and 272 deaths.

Hundreds of cases have been linked to workplaces, including call centers and a massive warehouse operated by local e-commerce giant Coupang, which officials say failed to properly enforce preventive measures and distance between workers. At least two dozen cases have been linked to churches near capital Seoul, including a death of a follower in his 70s.

Incheon, a port city west of Seoul, banned gatherings at more at some 4,200 churches and other religious facilities. Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the capital, issued an administrative order to shut down warehouses, funeral homes and wedding halls.

Health Minister Park Neunghoo during an anti-virus meeting on Tuesday pleaded churchgoers and employees of hospitals and nursery homes to avoid unnecessary gatherings to reduce infection risks for senior citizens and others who are medically vulnerable.

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