SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- South Korea reported 1,046 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Tuesday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 58,725.

The daily caseload rose above 1,000 in three days, hovering above 100 for 52 days since Nov. 8 due to small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province as well as imported cases.

Of the new cases, 519 were Seoul residents and 251 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.

Sixteen were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 5,334.

Forty more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 859. The total fatality rate stood at 1.46 percent.

A total of 1,435 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 40,703. The total recovery rate was 69.31 percent.

Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 4.09 million people, among whom 3,868,494 tested negative for the virus and 170,962 are being checked.