South Korea reports highest daily COVID-19 count in 3 months

South Korea reports highest daily COVID-19 count in 3 months

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Medical staff in protective gear work at a 'drive-thru' testing c
Medical staff in protective gear work at a drive-through testing centre for COVID-19 in Yeungnam University Medical Center in Daegu, South Korea, Mar 3, 2020. (File photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-hoon)

SEOUL: South Korea on Wednesday (Apr 7) reported 668 new COVID-19 cases for Tuesday, the highest daily count since Jan 8 amid a rise in cluster infections, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The new cases bring the country's total infections to 106,898, with 1,756 deaths, with the latest surge centred around clusters in kindergartens, saunas, bars and churches.

More than 63 per cent of new cases were found in Seoul and neighbouring regions, including Gyeonggi province, KDCA data showed.

Authorities said they would expand testing efforts to trace transmission nationwide through epidemiological surveys and preemptive testing.

READ: South Korea flags possible vaccine export curbs to secure COVID-19 shots

"If the fourth wave of infections becomes a reality, a disruption to vaccination would be inevitable, as well as dealing a big blow to our economy," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a government meeting on Wednesday.

"The government is maximising efforts to prevent the fourth wave by mobilising all means possible," he said.

READ: South Korea pays price for reliance on COVAX, scrambles for COVID-19 vaccines

The country has so far administered more than a million doses of vaccine among medical workers and high-risk groups since the start of its inoculation drive in February, yet authorities face a backlash for relying on the global vaccine-sharing programme COVAX, which has run into delays.

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Source: Reuters/aj

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