1,000-plus cases reported for a third day in a row
With more than a thousand new Covid-19 cases detected for the third day in a row on Thursday, officials are mulling Level 3 social distancing measures, the most restrictive level in the government’s virus containment program.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) announced Friday morning the country added 1,062 new cases of the coronavirus the day before, up from 1,014 cases on Wednesday.
That puts the total number of infections to 47,515.
While Seoul accounted for the lion’s share of new cases, at 393, infections continued to be reported up in all provinces and metropolitan cities across the country.
By region, there were 300 cases in Gyeonggi, 64 in Incheon, 39 in Busan, 43 in South Gyeongsang, 20 in Daegu, 31 in North Gyeongsang, 16 in South Chungcheong, five in Daejeon 12 in North Jeolla, five in South Jeolla, three in Gwangju, 27 on Jeju Island and 30 each in Ulsan and North Chungcheong.
Only 26 of the new daily cases were imported., with 13 from the United States, seven from Indonesia, two from Germany, and one each from Myanmar, Japan, South Africa and Australia.
A total of 11 new fatalities from Covid-19 were reported, down from a daily record of 22 the day before. This put the total number of deaths at 645.
Though new infections remaining above 1,000 per day meets the government’s criteria for elevating social distancing measures to Level 3, authorities remain wary of the dramatic effect the measures would have on the economy, particularly small businesses.
Noting the top priority currently was properly enforce current distancing restrictions, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Friday said “sufficient social consensus” needed to be reached before the step was taken to impose Level 3 guidelines.
The five levels are Level 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3. Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi are currently subject to Level 2.5 restrictions, while most of the rest of the country is subject to looser Level 2 rules.
BY SHIM KYU-SEOK [firstname.lastname@example.org]