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(3rd LD) S. Korea reports 1,768 new COVID-19 cases as of 6 p.m. Tuesday

All News 18:56 August 10, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES first 8 paras with latest tally; CHANGES headline)

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's reported COVID-19 cases jumped again Tuesday, raising the possibility that the daily count will surpass 2,000 for the first time.

As of 6 p.m., 1,768 new infections were confirmed nationwide, up 598 from the same time Monday, according to health authorities and local governments.

The figure is 343 higher than the tally posted at the same time a week earlier.

Among the additional cases, 1,211, or 68.5 percent, were reported in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon. Coronavirus infections were confirmed in all of the nation's 17 major cities and provinces.

There is the likelihood that the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) will announce more than 2,000 additional cases in its regular press briefing slated for Wednesday morning.

Students walk to a high school in Seoul amid the toughest social distancing rules of Level 4 on Aug. 10, 2021, after the end of vacation. (Yonhap)

South Korea, which has a population of 52 million, has reported four-digit new infections for 35 consecutive days.

On Tuesday morning, the KDCA stated that 1,540 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed and the nation added nine deaths from the virus through Monday.

The total caseload rose to 213,987 as of the start of the day, with the death toll tallied at 2,134.

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.

A banner announces the closing of Haeundae Beach in Busan, 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Aug. 9, 2021, as Level 4 social distancing measures, the toughest in South Korea's four-tier system, are to go into effect in the city on Aug. 10. (Yonhap)

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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