SEOUL: South Korea reported 583 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday (Nov 26), the highest since March, as the country grapples with a third wave of infections that has forced it to reimpose tough social distancing measures.
The daily tally exceeded 500 for the first time since Mar 6, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), when South Korea battled the first major COVID-19 epidemic outside China.
The government re-imposed tough social distancing rules on the capital Seoul and surrounding regions this week after the daily numbers began hovering above 300 new coronavirus cases last week.
Health authorities have warned the current wave might be tougher to control than earlier infections as most of the second wave has occurred in offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the wider general community around Seoul.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo expressed concerns that the rate of confirmed patients in their 20s to 30s had spiked to 28 per cent of total cases over the past month.
“COVID-19 has arrived right beside you and your family,” he told a meeting. “We’re in a situation where it is not strange at all if anyone contracts the virus during our daily lives.”