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S. Korea unlikely to drastically tighten virus curbs despite surging infections: official

All News 16:50 December 02, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is unlikely to reimpose tighter social distancing rules despite surging COVID-19 infections, as the government is set to announce new measures to help tame the latest wave of infections, a senior presidential official said Thursday.

The new measures will be announced Friday as the nation is battling to contain virus infections, with daily cases standing at a record high of more than 5,200 earlier in the day.

"Rather than a drastic tightening of distancing rules, (the government) will announce measures on how to fine-tune (current measures)," Park Soo-hyun, senior presidential secretary for communication, told a KBS YouTube channel.

Park's remarks were somewhat in contrast to his own remarks Wednesday, when he told another YouTube channel the government could make "big adjustments" to its containment measures if the omicron variant spreads.

If the government reimposes stricter distancing rules and limits private gatherings, it will have a negative impact on businesses of self-employed people, Park said.

Park said containment measures will be applied "flexibly," depending on the situation of the omicron variant and the pace of COVID-19 infections.

On Wednesday, health authorities detected the omicron in five people, including a fully vaccinated couple who had visited Nigeria from Nov. 14-23.

South Korea started to ease social distancing measures in November following its initiation of its "living with COVID-19" scheme aimed at helping people's gradual return to normalcy.

Health officials in protective suits work at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Dec. 1, 2021. (Yonhap)

kdh@yna.co.kr
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