This file photo, provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, shows acting Seoul Mayor Seo Jeong-hyup. (Seoul Metropolitan Government)
Seoul posted 295 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most ever for the city, health authorities said.
The new high came only a day after the capital city set its previous record for daily coronavirus cases with 262 new infections on Wednesday.
Across the country 629 new cases were reported on Thursday, the highest total in nearly nine months, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
"It's hard for the antivirus measures to keep up with the pace of spread because cluster infections are emerging simultaneously in various parts of everyday life," acting Seoul Mayor Seo Jeong-hyup said during an interview on the CBS radio station Friday.
"There are also seasonal factors in that more people are staying indoors and in close proximity with one another in closed and densely populated spaces," he added.
The capital city is currently under Level 2 social distancing rules, the middle level of a five-tier scheme.
"If we enter into Level 3 of social distancing, all economic activities will effectively grind to a halt," Seo continued. "Level 3 is the last card we will use in a desperately dangerous situation."
Under Level 2, cafes are only allowed to serve takeout and delivery, while restaurants are required to do the same after 9 p.m. Cultural facilities are required to limit capacity to 30 percent and worship services to 20 percent.
As of Tuesday, Seoul has been placed under additional restrictions, including temporary closures of saunas and steam rooms in bathhouses.
"We will discuss additional (antivirus) steps with experts and may announce them as early as this afternoon," Seo said. (Yonhap)