South Korean health officials have identified three cases of COVID-19 mutations from foreign patients who entered the country.
The authorities said they have spotted new variants in two imported cases from Pakistan, and one from Uzbekistan, which have not yet been added to the World Health Organization's database.
"We have confirmed three new variants of spike proteins from the virus detected in foreign patients. We have reported to the WHO on this, and are conducting additional analysis."
The health authorities added no one in South Korea has been infected because the patients were put under self-quarantine upon arrival.
Based on analysis of the sequenced genomes of 776 COVID-19 patients, including both local and imported cases, the most widespread mutations in South Korea were strains GH and V.
The KCDC said, during the past two weeks, over 63 percent of infections in the country were due to imported cases, while some 17 percent were caused by local cluster infections.
There were also some sporadic infections at hospitals, while the routes of infection remain unknown for some cases.
As of Monday, South Korea reported 28 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 14,626.
Of them, 11 were imported cases.
There were no additional deaths, while 16 more people have fully recovered.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.