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Coronavirus

New Cases in South Korea Near Its Pandemic High

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is reporting more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases, a level unseen since the worst of its outbreak in December as it slips into another virus surge with most of its people unvaccinated.

The 1,212 new cases reported Wednesday came close to South Korea’s largest daily increase during the pandemic, on Christmas Day, when officials listed 1,240 new cases.

The government had planned to raise the cap on private social gatherings from four to six people and allow restaurants to extend indoor dining by two hours starting this month. But officials in Seoul and nearby areas have held off as infections rise.

Just 30% of South Korea’s people have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of Wednesday.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum says officials will consider tougher social distancing rules if transmissions continue to grow over the next two or three days.

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