South Korea is struggling to curb the spread of COVID-19 with the number of confirmed cases increasing rapidly in the country.
A government official said Sunday that the next seven to ten days will be key in containing the virus and that the number of confirmed cases is expected peak in the next two to three days.
"It is now limited in certain regions but if community-based transmission cannot be prevented effectively, it could spread nationwide."
The government raised its virus threat alert to 'critical', the maximum level in a four-tiered system.
However, an expert says that there are too many patients for the situation to settle in a matter of just a few days.
"It is too early to say that the number of patients will reach its peak in the next seven to ten days because too many patients have been confirmed. Suspected cases are increasing because they have been in contact with confirmed patients."
The expert added that because there is no vaccine or direct cure yet, it is not easy to completely block the spread.
"At this point, it is best to minimize the harm in the regions expected to be damaged the most. In that perspective, it is hard to expect the disease to cease to spread in the near future."
Most confirmed cases are from a religious organization in the country's southeastern city of Daegu.
The police has succeeded in locating 221 out of 242 people related to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus on Monday. Their whereabouts was previously unknown.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.