SEOUL, April 13 (Xinhua) -- South Korea reported 25 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of midnight Monday local time, raising the total number of infections to 10,537.

The daily caseload hovered around 30 in recent days, with 39 on Thursday, 27 on Friday, 30 on Saturday and 32 on Sunday each. Of the new cases, 16 were imported from overseas.

Three more deaths were confirmed, lifting the death toll to 217. The total fatality rate came in at 2.06 percent.

A total of 79 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 7,447.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has updated the data once a day at 10:00 a.m. local time from March 10, after having announced it twice a day.

Except for the first 30 cases, all the infections have been reported since Feb. 18. The country has raised its four-tier virus alert to the highest "red" level.

The total number of infections in Daegu, about 300 km southeast of Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province rose to 6,819 and 1,337 respectively. It accounted for almost 80 percent of the total.

The numbers in Seoul and its adjacent Gyeonggi province gained to 610 and 631 each.

Daegu became the epicenter of the viral spread here as the biggest cluster of infections was found in the metropolis with a 2.5 million population. Daegu has been designated by the government as a "special disaster zone."

The Daegu cluster was closely linked to the church services of a homegrown minor religious sect, called Sincheonji, in Daegu. Members of the sect are known to sit on the floor closely side by side during church services.

Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 518,000 people, among whom 494,815 tested negative for the virus and 13,391 were being checked.