South Korea's public health authorities announced Tuesday that the country should prepare for more coronavirus infections not linked to known clusters as its latest confirmed cases are believed to be without links to other existing cases or to China and overseas countries.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said the country is entering a "new phase" with some confirmed cases not being linked to existing spreads or clusters, which means that those patients are judged to have contracted the COVID-19 virus without traveling abroad or coming into contact with other infected patients.
The public health agency admitted that it is still unclear how the three latest virus patients -- the country's 29th, 30th, and 31st -- contracted the virus as they had not had contact with other confirmed patients or been abroad recently.
"The three patients' infection routes are uncertain and there is a chance of additional similar cases being found," KCDC director Jung Eun-kyeong said in a press conference.
The country needs to tighten quarantine controls over arrivals from abroad and self-quarantine rules, while coming up with countermeasures to prevent community spread, she said. (Yonhap)