New cases over 2,000 for 2 straight days amid upsurge worries after Chuseok holiday

South Korea's daily coronavirus cases exceeded 2,000 for two consecutive days Saturday amid worries about a possible upsurge after a major holiday when people are expected to travel across the country in droves.

The country reported an additional 2,087 COVID-19 cases, including 2,047 local infections, raising the total caseload to 284,022, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The country added five more deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 2,394. The fatality rate was 0.84 percent.

This marked the second day in a row daily infections have topped 2,000. The latest tally also represented the fourth largest daily infections since the first case was confirmed early last year.

Daily cases have stayed above the 1,000s for 74 consecutive days amid the fast spread of the more transmissible delta variant nationwide.

Health authorities remain on high alert as virus spread could further expand in other regions after the five-day Chuseok holiday running from Saturday through Wednesday, when a huge number of people are expected to travel across the country.

The authorities urged people to minimize travel and gatherings during the holiday. They also plan to enforce special quarantine measures, including running COVID-19 testing clinics at highway rest stops, for two weeks through Sept. 26.

Health authorities have sought to increase the vaccination rate in a bid to reduce their exposure to the virus ahead of the holiday.

As of early Saturday, a total of 36.08 million people, or 70.3 percent of the country's population, have received their first shots of COVID-19 vaccines and 21.93 million people, or 42.7 percent, have also been fully vaccinated, the KDCA said. South Korea targets to see 70 percent of the population fully vaccinated by end-October.

Of the newly confirmed domestic cases, 700 cases came from Seoul, 665 from Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the capital city, and 145 cases from western port city of Incheon, the KDCA said.

Busan, the country's second-largest city, added 49 cases, while the southeastern city of Daegu reported 71 more cases.

Imported cases, which include South Korean nationals, came to 40, with the total number of imported cases standing now at 14,123.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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