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(LEAD) Moon says S. Korea's antivirus fight at crucial juncture, toughened social distancing may be necessary

All News 15:42 December 13, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with Moon's remarks; RECASTS headline; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in called on Sunday for all-out efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections in South Korea, saying the country's antivirus fight stands at a "crucial phase" before deciding whether to lift the social distancing alert to the highest.

"There is nowhere to step back," he stressed during an interagency meeting on virus response at the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters in Seoul.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during an interagency meeting on virus response at the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters in Seoul on Dec. 13, 2020. (Yonhap)

He presided over the emergency session hours after local health authorities reported 1,030 additional cases. It marks the all-time high of daily new confirmed cases since the emergence of the novel coronavirus here.

"It is a desperate time when (the government) should make all-out efforts on staving off the spread of the coronavirus by concentrating all virus control capabilities and administrative power."

lcd@yna.co.kr
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