South Korea has reported 397 fresh novel coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest since March 7, raising the total number of infections to 17,399.

The number of confirmed cases for the past 10 days reached 2,629 due to infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province traceable to services at the Sarang Jeil Church in the capital city and also a massive rally held on August 15 by conservative voters and politicians.

Of the new cases, 138 were Seoul residents and 124 were from Gyeonggi province.

The death toll stood at 309, with no new fatalities reported.

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.

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.

A total of 31 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, taking the total to 14,200. The overall recovery rate was 81.61 per cent.

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.