South Korea went on high alert on Sunday following a sharp jump in coronavirus cases, raising the nation's alert to its highest level, after the number of infections nearly tripled over the weekend to 602.
Led by an outbreak cluster in a religious sect in the southern city of Daegu, South Korea now has the most infections outside of China -- apart from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan.
"The next few days will be crucial," President Moon Jae-in said following a government meeting on the virus.
"The government will raise the alert level to the highest level according to experts' recommendations."
Moon did not specify what those measures may include.
South Korea reported 169 new cases and three deaths on Sunday, taking the countrywide fatality toll to five. Yonhap news agency later reported a sixth death.
More than 300 cases have been linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus sect in Daegu with some 9,300 members either quarantined or asked to stay at home, according to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some 1,240 have reported symptoms.
The new cases also included a Samsung Electronics employee at a plant in Gumi city, leading the tech giant to suspend operations there until Monday. (AFP)
Virus death toll in South Korea rises to six
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