SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 168 new cases of the coronavirus, the third consecutive day the daily jump came below 200 in a possible sign the country is starting to see the effects of unprecedented social distancing restrictions.
The figures released Saturday brought the national caseload to 21,010, including 333 deaths.
Officials say 115 of the new cases were in the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million population. Infections were also reported in other big cities, including Bunsan, Gwangju, Daejeon and Daegu.
Authorities have decided to extend for another week tougher social distancing restrictions in the Seoul area, saying the viral spread is still at risky levels. Restaurants are allowed to provide only takeout and home delivery after 9 p.m. Gyms, billiard clubs and after-school academies are closed.
Officials have also shut down churches and nightspots and shifted most schools back to remote learning nationwide.