New virus cases bounce back to over 500 as effect of tougher curbs yet to be felt
SEOUL. KAZINFORM The daily number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea bounced back to over 500 again Wednesday, adding to concerns that the country faces a bigger wave of the pandemic in winter amid tougher social distancing measures.
The country added 511 more COVID-19 cases, including 493 local infections, raising the total caseload to 35,163, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). It reported no additional coronavirus fatalities, bringing the total to 526, Yonhap reports.
The daily virus tally has appeared to be slowing over the past three days, staying in the 400 range after peaking at an eight-month high of 581 last Thursday, the KDCA said.
An average of 467 daily new cases were reported over the past week, it added.
Authorities said they will continue to vigorously monitor the current situation, stressing that social distancing measures will be quickly elevated if needed, amid worries over a possible surge in virus cases during winter.
The authorities also urged people to refrain from non-essential activities outside of their homes as hundreds of thousands of students are scheduled to sit for the annual state college entrance exam on Thursday.
They also warned that the country could report daily virus cases of between 700 and 1,000 in the next one or two weeks unless the current pace is curbed, as the country continues to report sporadic infection clusters of various sizes.
The greater Seoul area that includes the capital city, the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon is under Level 2 social distancing measures in the five-tier system, but tighter restrictions have been applied to virus-prone facilities.
All other areas are under Level 1.5 distancing measures, up one notch, for two weeks.