Record COVID surge in South Korea despite tough distancing rules


Authorities are calling for a ‘strict’ response to breaches of the COVID-19 rules, as South Korea’s logbooks set a record 1,214 cases.

South Korea has reported its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections on Christmas Day, as Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun pleaded for vigilance to contain a COVID-19 wave that has exacerbated hospitalization and deaths.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 1,214 new cases on Friday, the highest daily number recorded with a major outbreak in a prison in the capital Seoul.

According to Yonhap News Agency, 288 cases were reported in Dongbu detention center.

South Korea had early success in quickly controlling outbreaks with aggressive testing and contact tracking, but has struggled to curb the recent rise in cases.

This week, stricter restrictions were taken to curb new cases, including a ban on gatherings of more than five people, and ski resorts and tourist resorts have been closed to stop the spread during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Greater Seoul is currently under restrictions at level 2.5 – the second highest in the country’s five-step system – with nightclubs closed, and restaurants are only allowed to deliver deliveries and pick-ups after 1 p.m. 21.00 (12:00 GMT).

At a coronavirus response meeting, Chung urged authorities to take “strict” action against violations of social distance rules, saying some restaurants and bars had been shown to entertain guests after 6 p.m. 21.

“A large majority of the nation faithfully adheres to government antivirus measures despite the inconvenience and pain they cause, but if a couple cheats for their own gain, it is difficult to expect results from participating in antivirus measures,” he was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency. .

The KDCA said the national number of confirmed cases was now 54,770 and that there were a further 17 deaths, bringing the total to 773.

Tests have been improved to track cases of unknown origin and infected people who do not show symptoms. Chung said the daily test in Seoul and remote regions has surpassed the 110,000 mark.

The South Korean government said earlier that it has secured access to vaccines for 46 million people or about 90 percent of the population.

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