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Asia Today: S. Korea adds 54, New Zealand tracing new cases

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea reported 54 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday as health authorities scramble to stem transmissions amid increased social and leisure activities.

The figures announced by South Korea’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought the national caseload to 14,714 infections, including 305 deaths.

The KCDC says 35 of the new cases were local transmissions, all but three of them reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a virus resurgence since late May.

The other 19 cases were linked to international arrivals. Health authorities see those as less threatening to the community since people arriving from abroad face mandatory tests and two-week quarantines.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— Health authorities in New Zealand were scrambling to trace the source of a new outbreak as the nation’s largest city went back into lockdown. The four cases reported from one Auckland household are New Zealand’s first locally transmitted cases in 102 days. The 22 others were in mandatory quarantine after traveling abroad. Two of the infected people had traveled to the tourist city of Rotorua last weekend while suffering symptoms, and authorities were trying to track their movements.

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