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South Korea extends restrictions amid rise in Covid cases in capital city

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Coronavirus: South Korea reported 2,486 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. (file)

Seoul:

South Korea on Friday extended social distancing restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic for two weeks, offering more incentives for people to get vaccinated as it battles thousands of new cases every day, especially in the capital.

The rapid resurgence in the greater Seoul area prompted officials to extend the lifting restrictions until October 17, including a ban on eating after 10 p.m. and gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m. in the area. restrictions are included.

The country reported 2,486 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with the daily tally above 3,000 for the first time last week, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The KDCA said the daily average rose over the past week to more than 2,635 – the highest level and easily more than double the level a month ago.

The capital Seoul and neighboring regions remain hotspots, reporting nearly 2,000 cases every day since last week, up nearly 42% within just one week.

“We are in a very dangerous situation where the virus is spreading in the Seoul metropolitan area,” Lee Ki-il, deputy minister for health care policy, said during a briefing.

He said the next two weeks are a crucial period as the government is revamping its anti-virus policy to facilitate a phased return to normal activities starting November.

Among the new incentives launched to encourage people to get vaccinated, the deputy minister said that wedding ceremonies can be held with 199 attendees if they include 150 fully vaccinated people.

“If vaccination rates continue to rise and the scale of the outbreak is controlled for the next two weeks, we should be able to return to normalcy in a phased manner,” Lee said.

About 77% of South Korea’s 52 million population had received a shot of the vaccine as of Thursday, with nearly 50% fully vaccinated, as the country ramps up its vaccination campaign despite a shaky start.

The government aims to vaccinate 80% of all adults by the end of October, and is considering introducing a ‘vaccine pass’ to allow those who need it to use public facilities more freely. allowed to travel.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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