“We assess that we’ve put out a big fire, but cannot lower our guard yet,” the mayor of Seoul said.

By Alison Fox
Updated March 13, 2020
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People wearing masks to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19) walk along the subway station on March 13, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

For the first time in weeks, recoveries from coronavirus in South Korea is actually outpacing the number of new cases, according to reports.

South Korea, which has the fourth highest number of recorded cases in the world behind mainland China, Italy, and Iran, recorded only 110 new cases on Friday and released 177 people from hospitals, Reuters reported, citing the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In total, the country has recorded more than 7,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and declared 510 people fully recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the virus around the world. Reuters noted that 72 people have died from the virus in the country since its first reported case on Jan. 20.

“We’ve managed to turn the corner, but there are concerns about overseas inflows, as well as possible infections at home around such facilities as call centers, computer cafes and karaoke rooms,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told the wire service.

Many of the cases in South Korea have emerged from the southeastern city of Daegu, the site of a church that has been at the center of the epidemic, according to Reuters.

A South Korean disinfection worker wearing protective clothing sprays anti-septic solution to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread in a subway station on March 13, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

In South Korea, officials have identified the origin of nearly 80 percent of all cases, Newsweek reported, a feat that an expert told the paper has contributed to getting the outbreak under control.

While the news is certainly good, officials in the Asian country have said it is still imperative that people practice vigilance. And starting Sunday, the country will impose reinforced border checks for people from France, Germany, Britain, Spain and the Netherlands, Reuters noted. This is in addition to similar checks South Korea has in place for visitors from China, Italy and Iran.

“We assess that we’ve put out a big fire, but cannot lower our guard yet,” Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said as the city continued its efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.