South Korea has reported 113 newly confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in last 24 hours, its first daily jump over 100 in nearly four months.

But the rise was predictable as health authorities had forecast a temporary spike driven by imported infections found among cargo ship crews and hundreds of South Korean construction workers airlifted out of virus-ravaged Iraq.

According to the South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday, the figures brought the national caseload to 14,092, including 298 deaths.

The KCDC said 86 of the new cases were linked to international arrivals while the other 27 were local transmissions.

On Friday, Kwon Jun-wook, director of South Korea’s National Institute of Health, said at a briefing that the newly reported cases the next morning would likely exceed 100 for the first time since April 1 and urged the public not to be overly alarmed by it.

The country has been held up as a global model in how to curb the virus and rushed to contain new infections as life returned to normal last month.

Some high schools were forced to turn back pupils shortly after resuming classes early in June over concerns of new virus cases in their neighbourhood.

South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the disease outside mainland China, and while it never imposed a compulsory lockdown, strict social distancing had been widely observed since March.