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Coronavirus

South Korea Pushes More Restrictions Beyond Capital

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean officials are pushing for tightened pandemic restrictions beyond the hard-hit capital area as they wrestle with a record-breaking surge in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum during a virus meeting Friday called for all local governments outside the greater Seoul area to simultaneously enforce four-person limits on gatherings after 6 p.m. to slow the viral spread.

Permitted social bubbles are even smaller in Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi province and Incheon, where officials are enforcing the strongest “Level 4” restrictions that prohibit gatherings of three or more people after 6 p.m., ban visitors at hospitals and nursing homes, and shut down nightclubs and churches.

Lee Ki-Il, deputy minister of health care policy at South Korea’s Health Ministry, said national government officials will discuss Kim’s proposal with local governments and could announce a decision over the weekend.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported another new 1,536 coronavirus cases, the 10th straight day of over 1,000. The country’s caseload is now at 175,046, including 2,051 deaths.

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