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New virus cases return to double digits, cluster infections still worrisome

All News 09:32 November 02, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's daily new infections fell back below 100 on Monday, snapping a rise of over 100 for a fifth consecutive day, as sporadic cluster infections were still rampant in the wider Seoul metropolitan area.

The country added 97 more COVID-19 cases, including local infections, as cluster infections in Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province rose at a rapid clip, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The total caseload rose to 26,732.

A medical worker gets ready to carry out new coronavirus tests at a makeshift clinic in central Seoul on Nov. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)

The figure marked a slight fall after triple-digit rises for five consecutive days: 103 new cases reported Wednesday, 125 on Thursday, 114 on Friday, 127 on Saturday and 124 on Sunday, it said.

The latest fall came as fewer tests are usually carried out on weekends compared with weekdays. Halloween celebrations on Saturday in the middle of eased social distancing steps were also a cause for concern.

Since the country eased its three-tier social distancing measures by one notch to the lowest level on Oct. 12, the daily figures have shown ups and downs, hovering around 100.

The latest virus upticks came mostly from senior nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities, but sporadic community infections have been on the rise at small gatherings, including family meetings, across the country.

Halloween is a major concern for health officials as young people gathered in the popular entertainment areas of Hongdae, Itaewon and Gangnam in Seoul.

On Sunday, the authorities announced a new five-tier social distancing regulations four months after the government made public the three-tier social distancing steps on June 28. The revisions are more specific and tailored antivirus steps.

The new scheme will take effect Saturday.

khj@yna.co.kr
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