SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has reported more than 2,000 new cases of the coronavirus, approaching a one-day record set last month, as officials expressed concern about an erosion in citizen vigilance amid prolonged pandemic restrictions.
The 2,050 cases reported Wednesday was the sixth time the daily increase came over 2,000 in a span of a month, including a record 2,221 on Aug. 11.
The capital Seoul and the nearby metropolitan area have had the country’s toughest social distancing rules short of a lockdown for nine consecutive weeks. The measures force night clubs and churches to close and prohibits private social gatherings of three or more people after 6 p.m. unless the participants are fully vaccinated.
The Health Ministry said people’s exhaustion and frustration with virus restrictions are becoming an increasing challenge. Highway traffic, credit card usage and other indicators of activity and movement are all rising, said Park Hyang, a senior ministry official, during a briefing.
There’s concern that transmissions would worsen during the Chuseok holidays, the Korean version of Thanksgiving that comes in two weeks.