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COVID-19

South Korea's new virus cases under 400 on less testing: Potential resurgence still worrisome

08/03/2021 12:32 PM

SEOUL, March 8 -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell back below 400 on Monday apparently due to less testing over the weekend, but health authorities remained wary of a potential resurgence as outdoor activity increases due to warmer weather, reported Yonhap News Agency. 

The country reported 346 more COVID-19 cases, including 335 local infections, raising the total caseload to 92,817, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. 

Daily infections stood above 400 for two consecutive days, with 416 cases on Sunday and 418 on Saturday. 

The country added 8 more deaths from COVID-19, raising the total to 1,642. The fatality rate was 1.77 percent, the KDCA said. 

After peaking around late last year, the country's daily infections have steadily declined since then on the back of tougher virus curbs. 

The daily tally, however, has recently remained at around 300 and 400 amid continued cluster infections that center around the greater Seoul area, home to about half of the nation's 52 million population.

Authorities have repeatedly warned that people should abide by social distancing and stay home as more and more are expected to enjoy outdoor activities during the spring season. 

The greater Seoul area is currently under the Level 2 social distancing scheme, the third highest in the country's five-tier system, while other regions are placed under Level 1.5. 

Private gatherings of five or more people are banned nationwide. 

South Korea has tentatively decided to adopt a four-tier social distancing system that allows merchants, such as cafes and restaurants, to do business under voluntary containment efforts. Health authorities plan to finalise the new social distancing scheme by the end of the month. 

The country is also in the early stages of its vaccination campaign, which started late last month with vaccines from AstraZeneca and Pfizer. 

Health authorities said a total of 316,865 people have been inoculated since the first shot was administered on Feb 26. 

-- BERNAMA

 

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