(ATTN: UPDATES with variant cases and breakthrough cases in paras 11-15)
SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases bounced back to above 1,500 on Tuesday, as the nationwide resurgence of COVID-19 cases continued amid the summer season.
The country added 1,540 COVID-19 cases, including 1,476 local infections, raising the total caseload to 213,987, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The latest caseload was up 48 from 1,492 the previous day. The country added nine more deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 2,134.
Virus cases in the greater Seoul area show signs of slowing due to the toughest social distancing measures, but cases piled up outside the capital areas.
Cases in the greater Seoul area reached 818, with 356 in Seoul, 398 in Gyeonggi Province and 64 in Incheon, about 40 kilometers west of Seoul, which accounted for 55.4 percent of the locally transmitted cases.
The southeastern port city of Busan posted 105 new cases, while neighboring South Gyeongsang Province reported 110 more infections.
The authorities decided to extend the Level 4 distancing measures, the highest in the country's four-tier system, for the greater Seoul area until Aug. 22, with most other areas under Level 3.
The Level 4 restrictions ban gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m., and place a 10 p.m. curfew on restaurants and cafes.
The highest social distancing measures are being applied in the country's second-largest city of Busan from Tuesday until Aug. 22 as cases have surged in the city in recent weeks.
In a bid to help people returning from vacation more easily take virus tests, four temporary screening centers will be operated at highway service stations from Friday until the end of August, the authorities said.
In the week of Aug. 1-7, the country reported 2,641 more cases of four major contagious coronavirus variants, bringing the total caseload to 10,766, health authorities said.
Of the newly confirmed variant cases, 96.7 percent, or 2,555 of them, were the delta strain of the new coronavirus.
They also said that there were 1,540 breakthrough cases among more than 6.5 million people who had received the full-dose vaccine regimen.
A breakthrough case means that a vaccinated person has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Of the total, 746 were administered with Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, followed by 420 with Pfizer's and 340 with AstraZeneca's.
Since the country launched its vaccination program in late February, a total of 21.37 million people, or 41.6 percent of the country's 51.3 million population, have received their first shots of COVID-19 vaccines.
Around 15.4 percent, or 7.89 million people, have been fully vaccinated, according to KDCA data.
The country aims to administer a single vaccination shot to 36 million people, or 70 percent of its population, by September with hopes of reaching herd immunity in November.
Advance reservations for vaccinations for people aged 18 to 49, estimated at some 16 million, started on Monday.
The vaccine supply may face a shortage this month as Moderna failed to provide the planned doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
There were 64 cases from overseas arrivals.
The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries was 187,523, up 1,281 from a day earlier.
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