South Korea today posted the highest-ever daily COVID-19 cases for the third straight day, as the country is set to impose the highest level of virus curbs on the greater Seoul area next week, Yonhap reported.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said 1,378 COVID-19 cases were confirmed the previous day, including 1,320 local infections, raising the total caseload to 166,722.
It marked the highest figure since the country reported its first confirmed infection on Jan. 20 last year.
It was also the first time that the nation's daily cases rose above 1,200 for four straight days, as the nation is grappling with the fourth wave of infections. Today's figure compares with 746 on Tuesday, 1,212 on Wednesday, 1,275 on Thursday and 1,316 on Friday.
The country added two more COVID-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 2,038.
The government earlier announced plans it will raise virus curbs to the toughest level in the greater Seoul area, which includes the capital, the neighboring Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon, Monday for two weeks.
Under the Level 4 rules, private gatherings of three or more people will be banned after 6 p.m. and in-person classes will be closed. Weddings and funerals can only be joined by relatives. Gatherings at entertainment establishments, including night clubs, pubs and sports games, will be ordered to shut down, while restaurants will be allowed to have dine-in customers until 10 p.m.
As the nation is hit by the fourth wave, health authorities warned that the worst may be yet to come. In the worst-case scenario, the nation's daily new infections could stand at 2,140 late this month, the KDCA said. Unless things get worse, the average daily new infections could stand at 1,400 in late July.
Source: Saudi Press Agency