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New virus cases over 300 for 2nd day in S. Korea, tougher antivirus curbs in place

19 November 2020 09:34
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New virus cases over 300 for 2nd day in S. Korea, tougher antivirus curbs in place

SEOUL. KAZINFORM - The number of daily new coronavirus cases in South Korea hovered above 300 for the second consecutive day Thursday as the country braces for another potential wave of the pandemic, with rising sporadic cluster infections across the nation, Yonhap reports.

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The country added 343 more COVID-19 cases, including 293 local infections, raising the total caseload to 29,654, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The daily figure of COVID-19 exceeded 300 for the first time since late August on Wednesday with 313 cases. The daily caseload has been staying in the triple digits since Nov. 8, with the figure exceeding 200 for the last six days.

Cluster infections from private gatherings, public facilities and hospitals continued to occur in several parts of the nation, putting health authorities' containment efforts in peril.

To prevent another wave of virus infections, the country enforced tightened virus prevention measures from Thursday in the greater Seoul area and southern city of Gwangju by raising the social distancing level by one notch to Level 1.5 under a new five-tier scheme.

For the port city of Incheon, just west of Seoul, the Level 1.5 social distancing rules will be applied from Monday. Other remote municipalities with small numbers of virus cases will remain under the Level 1 distancing, but they are likely to face growing pressure to adopt tightened rules due to the fast spread of the virus.

People are still allowed to carry on with most of their daily routines under Level 1.5, but business operators and people are required to follow toughened public health regulations.

Under Level 1.5, facilities with higher risk of virus infection, including bars, clubs and indoor concert halls, are required to adopt stricter quarantine measures such as limiting the number of admissions and keeping distance between seats.

The country reported two additional deaths from COVID-19, raising the total to 498.

However, more deaths could be reported down the road as the number of seriously or critically ill COVID-19 patients came to 79, up 12 from Wednesday.

The number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries came to 125, raising the total to 26,098.



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