SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- South Korea reported 248 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 12:00 a.m. Monday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 19,947.

The daily caseload stayed below 300 for two days, but it continued to grow in triple digits since Aug. 14.

The number of confirmed cases for the past 18 days reached 5,177 owing to infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province.

The infections were traceable to church services of Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul and the massive rally held in central Seoul on Aug. 15 by conservative politicians, civic groups and church members.

Of the new cases, 91 were Seoul residents and 79 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.

Ten were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 2,823.

One more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 324. The total fatality rate stood at 1.63 percent.

A total of 70 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 14,973. The total recovery rate was 75.06 percent.

Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 1.93 million people, among whom 1,859,866 tested negative for the virus and 57,876 are being checked.