SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has set a new high in daily coronavirus cases for the third straight day as officials prepare to enforce the strongest social distancing restrictions in the greater capital area where transmission have surged following months of complacency.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Saturday that more than 1,000 of the 1,378 new cases were from capital Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi Province and Incheon, a region where officials from Monday will clamp down on private social gatherings of three or more people from 6 p.m. Nightclubs and churches will close, visitors will be banned at nursing homes and hospitals and weddings and funerals will be limited to family-only gatherings.
Dozens of new cases were each reported in major cities and regions across the country, including Busan, Daejeon, Ulsan, South Chungcheong Provine and South Gyeongsang Province.
After adding 9,700 cases in July alone, the country’s caseload is now at 166,722, including 2,038 deaths.
The surge is a worrisome development in a country where just over 30% in a population of 51 million have been administered their first doses of coronavirus vaccines.