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(AP) — The number of cases of coronavirus in South Korea has soared to its highest level in more than two years and more than 40,000 cases are reported in the first week of August.

More than 3,200 cases have been reported in South Korean hospitals and medical centers, the Health Ministry said Thursday, surpassing the number of patients who died last month.

South Korea’s health ministry says it has detected more than 11,500 coronaviruses since January 1, nearly doubling the number detected during the first half of March.

That’s the highest number of coronas in a single month since April 2017.

The ministry also says it is dealing with more than 60 cases of H7N9, a strain of bird flu that was first detected in the country’s northeast on Oct. 8.

The World Health Organization says more than 80 percent of South Koreans have respiratory illnesses linked to the virus, but many have not been diagnosed.

The virus is highly contagious and can lead to pneumonia, sepsis and even death.

In the past two weeks, the number at the South Korean capital’s main hospital has nearly doubled from 1,600 to more than 6,000.

South Korean authorities have said more than a million people have tested positive for coronaviral disease.

The South Korean government said in a statement Thursday that coronavillosis is a pandemic.

The government is working to stop the spread of the disease by spreading awareness and preventing its spread.___Associated Press writers Eun Kyung Kim in Seoul and Jonathan Oosting in Berlin contributed to this report.