Seoul, February 21: South Korea on Friday confirmed 100 more cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), raising the total number of infections to 204.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that of the total patients, 153 were residents in Daegu, about 300 km southeast of the capital Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province, reports Xinhua news agency.

A total of 144 cases were linked to church services in Daegu. The patients attended the same services. COVID-19 Outbreak: 59 Hong Kong Police Quarantined After Meal with Coronavirus colleague.

The number of COVID-19 infections rose sharply in just three days, after 20 new cases were reported on Wednesday and 53 more cases reported on Thursday.

Since Januray 3, the country has tested more than 16,000 people, among whom 13,016 tested negative for the COVID-19 virus and 3,180 were being checked.

Seventeen patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recoveries.

Also on Friday, authorities declared Daegu and Cheongdo "special care zones" following the sudden spike.

On Thursday, South Korea announced the first COVID-19 death in the country after the virus was detected in a man who died the previous day from pneumonia at a hospital in Cheongdo, where other patients were also infected, reports Efe news.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 21, 2020 05:00 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website