Seoul: South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Sunday the government was waging "all-out responses" to contain the novel coronavirus as the country reported 376 new cases, taking the total to 3,526.
South Korea has the largest national total in the world outside China, after it saw a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases in recent days.
Scores of events have been cancelled or postponed over the contagion, while the country's central bank has warned of a minus growth in the first quarter for the world's 12th-largest economy, noting the epidemic will hit both consumption and exports.
"The government is now waging all-out responses after raising the crisis alert to the highest level," Moon said at an Independence Movement Day ceremony, scaled down due to the outbreak.
"We will be able to overcome the COVID-19 outbreak and revive our shrunken economy," he added.
Samsung Electronics suspended operations at its domestic smartphone plant in Gumi -- 200 kilometres (210 miles) southeast of Seoul -- on Saturday for the second time in a week, after a third employee tested positive for the virus.
Auto giant Hyundai Motor also stopped operations at one of its Ulsan plants after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.
Concerts by K-pop superstars BTS and the World Team Table Tennis Championships were among cancelled events, while sports leagues have modified their seasons to contain the virus.
K-pop star CHUNG HA was placed in self-quarantine when a member of her staff tested positive after visiting Italy last month, Yonhap news agency reported. The singer tested negative.