South Korea confirmed 20 more cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections to 51.
This is according to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The centres said that most new patients were traced to church services, stoking concerns that the country might identify more virus patients in spite of tighter quarantine measures.
Eighteen of the new patients are in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and in the adjacent North Gyeongsang region.
The country’s 31st patient, probably a coronavirus “super spreader,” is believed to have infected at least 15 others and came in contact with 166 people.
The 61-year-old woman, a Daegu resident, started to complain of a fever on Feb. 10 and was on Tuesday confirmed to be infected.
A preliminary epidemiological investigation shows that the potential super spreader attended several of the same church services as the other newly confirmed patients and had direct contact with one person at a Daegu hospital.
The health authorities said they planned to conduct COVID-19 tests on those who attended services along with the patient as a precautionary measure.
The patient also visited Seoul late last month and went about her everyday life, using public transportation among other things, adding to concerns that she might have infected others.
What constitutes a super spreader is not clearly defined, but people can be labeled as such if they transmit the disease to more than ten others.