SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- South Korea reported 441 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 0:00 a.m. Thursday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 18,706.

It marked the highest daily caseload in 173 days since March 7, keeping a triple-digit growth for 14 straight days.

The number of confirmed cases for the past two weeks reached 3,936 due to infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province.

The infections were traceable to church services of Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul and the massive rally held in central Seoul on Aug. 15 by conservative voters and politicians.

Of the new cases, 154 were Seoul residents and 100 were people residing in Gyeonggi province. Including Incheon, west of the Seoul, the total number of new infections in the Seoul metropolitan area was 313.

The infections linked to the Sarang Jeil Church totaled 939 as of noon Wednesday, with those relevant to the Aug. 15 rally rising to 219 in total.

Seven were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 2,770.

One more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 313. The total fatality rate stood at 1.67 percent.

A total of 93 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 14,461. The total recovery rate was 77.31 percent.

Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 1.86 million people, among whom 1,798,832 tested negative for the virus and 52,041 are being checked.