South Korean officials on Friday reported 91 patients thought cleared of the new coronavirus had tested positive again.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), told a briefing that the virus may have been “reactivated” rather than the patients being re-infected.
South Korean health officials said it remains unclear what is behind the trend, with epidemiological investigations still under way.
The prospect of people being re-infected with the virus is of international concern, as many countries are hoping that infected populations will develop sufficient immunity to prevent a resurgence of the pandemic.
The South Korean figure had risen from 51 such cases on Monday.
Nearly 7,000 South Koreans have been reported as recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.