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South Korea PM says further gathering limits may be needed as COVID-19 cases rise

South Korea reported 1,536 new coronavirus cases as of Thursday midnight, a slow decline in daily infections since hitting a record earlier this week, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Friday.

South Korea PM says further gathering limits may be needed as COVID-19 cases rise

A woman skateboards on a shopping street amid tightened social distancing rules due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Seoul, South Korea on Jul 12, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Heo Ran)

SEOUL: South Korea's prime minister on Friday (Jul 16) said more limits on private gatherings may be needed around the country as authorities reported 1,536 new COVID-19 cases.

South Korea was for months a coronavirus success story as it kept outbreaks under control with testing, tracing and social distancing, but the more contagious Delta variant has been fuelling a new wave of infections.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum asked local governments to standardise gathering limits to less than four people to avoid confusion in the non-metropolitan area, where the cases have been quickly surging, after imposing a semi-lockdown in the greater Seoul area.

“If the number of confirmed cases continues to spiral, I stress that there is no choice but to further limit the number of gatherings after 6 pm outside the metropolitan area as well," Kim told a televised government meeting on Friday.

Total infections across the country of 52 million people now stand at 175,046 cases, and 2,051 deaths have been reported.

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Source: Reuters/ad

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