SEOUL: South Korea has reported more than 2,000 new cases of the coronavirus, nearing a one-day record set last month, continuing an alarming surge as the nation enters its biggest holiday of the year.
The 2,008 cases reported Friday was the 73rd consecutive day of over 1,000 despite officials enforcing the country’s strongest social distancing rules short of a lockdown in capital Seoul and other large population centers for the past 10 weeks.
More than 1,500 of the new case came from the greater Seoul area, home to half of a population of more than 51 million, where infections have surged as schools reopened and people returned from summer vacations in recent weeks.
There are concerns that transmissions will worsen nationwide the Chuseok holiday break, the Korean version of Thanksgiving that begins over the weekend and continues through next Wednesday. Millions usually travel across the to meet relatives during Chuseok.
“We plead once again that people who aren’t fully vaccinated not to visit their aging parents who are in their 60s or older,” Deputy Health Minister Lee Ki-il said during a briefing. “In the greater capital area, transmissions are continuously happening at indoor gyms, cram schools, churches and wherever there’s many people in confined spaces. Capital area residents should always keep in mind that they could get infected any where at any time, and be very careful.”