A quarantine official disinfects the Cabinet meeting room at the government complex in Seoul on Friday, 2021, following the discovery the previous day that Han Sang-hyuk, the head of the Korea Communications Commission, has been infected with the new coronavirus, which has made Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum and other Cabinet members subject to coronavirus tests. (Yonhap)
South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed above 2,300 for the third consecutive day Friday, four days after the country relaxed its virus restrictions nationwide in line with its "living with COVID-19" scheme.
The country reported 2,344 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total caseload to 375,464, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
New cases slipped a bit from the previous day's 2,482, but a jump from 2,124 recorded last Friday, the KDCA said.
Of the total, 2,324 were local infections, the KDCA said. Twenty cases came from overseas, putting the cumulative total at 15,194.
Of the locally transmitted cases, Seoul had 974 cases, with the surrounding Gyeonggi Province logging 740 cases and Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, 152 cases.
The death toll rose by 20 to 2,936 on Friday, the health authorities said. The fatality rate came to 0.78 percent.
The health authorities warned virus cases could continue to trend upward again, especially after the Halloween weekend when once-empty popular nightlife districts became bustling and busy again with young people.
Currently, private gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed, regardless of vaccination. Still, wearing a face mask indoors is mandatory.
While restrictions on restaurants, cafes and movie theaters are fully lifted, high-risk facilities, such as bars and nightclubs, are required to implement the "vaccine pass" system where visitors have to show they have been fully vaccinated or have a negative test result. (Yonhap)