COVID-19

South Korea reports 2nd highest COVID-19 count ahead of holiday

Reuters
South Korea reports 2nd highest COVID-19 count ahead of holiday

SNOWFALL. Commuters walk on a zebra crossing during snowfall, amid the COVID-19 pandemic in central Seoul, South Korea, January 17, 2022.

Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

The country records 7,630 new cases on Saturday, January 22

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea posted its second-highest daily number of coronavirus cases on Sunday, January 23, despite extended COVID-19 curbs and a high vaccination rate, raising concerns of further spread during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

The country recorded 7,630 new cases on Saturday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said, above the 7,009 cases reported a day earlier and near the mid-December record of 7,848 logged.

South Korea in mid-January extended tougher social distancing rules for three weeks, including a 9 pm curfew for restaurants, cafes and bars, and limits on private gatherings, ahead of the holiday that starts on Saturday.

Tens of millions of Koreans across the country typically travel during Lunar New Year for family gatherings during one of the country’s main holidays.

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South Korea has recorded 733,902 COVID-19 infections and 6,540 deaths, KDCA data showed, although nearly 95% of adults have been fully vaccinated and more than half having received a booster shot.

To contain the rapid spread of the virus, health officials have required proof of vaccination and a booster to gain access to most public facilities, but a court ruled that large shops and teenagers should be temporarily excluded from COVID-19 vaccine pass mandates. – Rappler.com