Korea's daily Covid-19 cases hit record high 1,241 on Christmas Eve
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) announced the grim milestone on Christmas Day Friday, as health authorities try to curb the outbreak with more social distancing restrictions to no avail.
There were 985 new cases registered nationwide Wednesday. Korea’s previous record number of infections in a single day was last Saturday’s 1,097 cases.
Among Thursday’s total cases, 1,216 were domestic infections — 550 in Seoul, 257 in Gyeonggi, 79 in South Chungcheong, 67 in North Gyeongsang, 55 in Incheon, 42 in North Chungcheong, 35 in Gwangju, 21 each in Busan and Daegu, 20 on Jeju Island, 14 in South Gyeongsang, 13 each in Daejeon and Gangwon, 12 each in Ulsan and North Jeolla, four in South Jeolla and one in Sejong City.
All 17 major cities and provinces saw at least one new case.
The remaining 25 cases were imported — nine from the United States, six from Indonesia, two each from Uzbekistan and Russia and one each from the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Poland, Finland, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger.
Seventeen patients died, raising total deaths to 773, while 623 people recovered, raising total recoveries to 38,048. As of Thursday at midnight, Korea had counted 54,770 coronavirus patients in all.
A new restriction prohibiting people from holding social gatherings of five people or more went into effect Wednesday in the greater Seoul area, and the same rule was applied to people outside the greater Seoul area eating in restaurants from Thursday.
Violators can face up to 100,000 won ($90) in penalties. The restrictions tentatively last through Jan. 3.
National parks and popular Jan. 1 sunrise spots will shut down during the same period, while hotels, resorts and guesthouses must keep half their rooms vacant.
BY LEE SUNG-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]