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New virus cases bounce back to over 500 as effect of tougher curbs yet to be felt

All News 09:38 December 02, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- The daily number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea bounced back to over 500 again Wednesday, adding to concerns that the country faces a bigger wave of the pandemic in winter amid tougher social distancing measures.

The country added 511 more COVID-19 cases, including 493 local infections, raising the total caseload to 35,163, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). It reported no additional coronavirus fatalities, bringing the total to 526.

A do-not-use notice is placed at the entrance of a sauna facility at a public bath in Seoul on Dec. 1, 2020, in compliance with the government's toughened social distancing rules amid a coronavirus resurgence. (Yonhap)

The daily virus tally has appeared to be slowing over the past three days, staying in the 400 range after peaking at an eight-month high of 581 last Thursday.

However, authorities have repeatedly warned of a possible surge in virus cases during winter, urging people to follow elevated antivirus measures that have been in place since Tuesday.

They also warned that the country could report daily virus cases of between 700 and 1,000 in the next one or two weeks unless the current pace is curbed, as the country continues to report sporadic infection clusters of various sizes.

The greater Seoul area that includes the capital city, the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon is under Level 2 social distancing measures in the five-tier system, but tighter restrictions have been applied to virus-prone facilities.

All other areas are under Level 1.5 distancing measures, up one notch, for two weeks.

Under the tougher distancing measures, the use of saunas and steam rooms in bathhouses is not allowed for one week in the greater Seoul area. Nine kinds of indoor exercises practiced in groups, including Zumba dancing, aerobics and kickboxing, are also banned

Hotels, party rooms and other guesthouses are also banned from hosting year-end or New Year's parties that are known to be prone to virus transmission.

khj@yna.co.kr
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