S. Korea adds over 1,100 virus cases despite tougher distancing rules
SEOUL, South Korea reported more than 1,100 daily new coronavirus cases on Saturday, despite all-out efforts to lower the curve of infections with the toughest distancing rules yet in place.
The country reported 1,132 more COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, including 1,104 local infections, putting the total caseload at 55,902, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The tally is slightly lower than Friday’s new record high of 1,241. The death toll rose by 20 to 793.
The country’s daily COVID-19 caseload first breached the 1,000 mark on Dec. 13 and has hovered between 800 and 1,000, including a five-day streak of over 1,000 last week.
South Korea is grappling to contain yet another wave of virus infections with the toughest social distancing rules banning gatherings of five or more people and shutting down popular venues around the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season.
The government has urged citizens to strictly comply with the distancing rules, warning that any violations will face a fine of up to 3 million won (US$2,700).
On Friday, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun warned against those who flout the rules at a time of difficulties, calling for efforts to stay united in sticking to the distancing rules so that the antivirus measures can produce results.
The government has kept social distancing at the second highest of Level 2.5 in the five-tier system in the greater Seoul area, home to half of its 51.6 million population. It is trying hard not to raise the curb level considering the potential economic impact.
But given the unabated spread of the virus, the health authorities plan to decide Sunday on whether to raise the distancing guidelines to Level 3.
Source: Yonhap News Agency