UPDATE - South Korea's COVID-19 Case Count Rises By 49 To 11,590 - Centers For Disease Control

SEOUL (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd June, 2020) The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Korea has risen by 49 to 11,590 over the past 24 hours amid the rise in cases linked to new small clusters of the infection, the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Wednesday.

According to KCDC, 46 of the new cases are cases of local transmission, while three others are imported. As many as 19 of new cases were registered in Seoul and 12 in Itaewon neighborhood, where several night clubs are located that are believed to be clusters of the infection.

In early April, the daily increase in cases in South Korea dropped below 40, later stabilizing at about 10-20 cases. On May 6, only two new cases were registered. However, later, the authorities discovered a new cluster linked to a young man who visited several clubs in Itaewon neighborhood and tested positive for COVID-19. In total, the tally of cases linked to this cluster has reached 270. Separately, concerns are rising over a hotspot connected to a retail logistics center in the city of Bucheon, which is 15.5 miles west of Seoul. At least 117 cases have been confirmed to be tied to it.

The death toll from the infections has increased by one over the past 24 hours to 273. The number of recovered people has reached 10,467.

South Korea has conducted over 950,000 coronavirus tests since the start of the outbreak. According to health authorities, 30 percent of COVID-19 carriers in the country are asymptomatic.

Earlier in the day, KCDC said that the country's Ministry of food and Drug Safety had made an emergency decision to allow the use of Remdesivir as a drug to treat the new coronavirus.

Developed by US laboratory Gilead Sciences, Remdesivir was initially generated to treat hepatitis C but was then pitched as treatment for Ebola, SARS and MERS with varying degrees of effectiveness. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Remdesivir has been subject of much discussion as treatment for patients.

Although clinical trials on the drug's effectiveness are still ongoing, US chief epidemiologist Anthony Fauci has said that early results are promising.

According to KCDC, the authorities have allowed imports of Remdesivir via a special imports system taking into account "its necessity and the use by other countries."

"KCDC intends to agree with Gilead Sciences Korea, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and other authorities on the continuous shipments of Remdesivir to the country," the statement read.

The special imports system is used in crisis cases for the procurement of previously unauthorized medicines needed to deal with an epidemic or to ensure public health.