Officials are still investigating the cause of the apparent relapses. But Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), has said the virus may have been reactivated rather than the patients being re-infected.
Other experts said faulty tests may be playing a role, or remnants of the virus may still be in patients' systems but not be infectious or of danger to the host or others.
The 116 cases is more than double the 51 such cases South Korea reported a week earlier.
South Korea plans to send 600,000 coronavirus testing kits to the United States on Tuesday in the first such shipment following a request from U.S. President Donald Trump, a Seoul official told Reuters on Monday.
Government leaders, meanwhile, called on South Koreans to continue to follow guidelines and restrictions on social gatherings, but hinted that such measures could soon be eased.
South Korea has called on residents to follow strict social distancing until at least April 19, but as cases have dropped and the weather has improved, a growing number of people have been flouting the guidelines.
At a meeting on disaster management on Monday, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the government would soon be looking to loosen the guidelines, which call for people to stay at home, avoid social gatherings of any type, and only go out for essential reasons.
"Later this week, we plan to review our intensive social distancing campaign that we have carried out so far and discuss whether we will switch to routine safety measures" he said.
Some local governments have imposed stricter measures, including closing bars and nightclubs, banning large demonstrations, and limiting church services.
Chung cautioned that even when the restrictions are eased, the country will not return to life as before the outbreak.
"We need a very cautious approach because any premature easing of social distancing could bring irreversible consequences, and have to ponder deeply about when and how we switch to the new system," he said.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Samsung chief jailed for 2.5 years over corruption scandal
South Korea's top court upholds ex-president's 20-year jail term
Mixed signals for North Korean leader's sister as Kim seeks to cement power
S.Korea reviews AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, expands ban on gatherings
Divers in ‘Hanbok’ send New Year greetings from underwater at South Korean aquarium
N Korea prepares for major party congress amid growing challenges
First US troops vaccinated in S Korea
South Korea logs second-highest daily tally of Covid cases amid prison, church outbreaks
S.Korea's Moon under fire for vaccine plans as Covid-19 cases surge