South Korea reported 441 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 18,706.
Thursday’s 441 new cases marks the highest daily number since March 7, when the country reported 483 cases.
Of the new cases, 434 were local transmissions and only 7 were imported cases.
There was one more death, raising the death toll to 313.
The number of new cases has been on the rise again this week after briefly dropping below 300 on Monday and Tuesday.
The country has now seen 14 days in a row of new cases in the triple digits.
Many of the cases reported at the start of the current outbreak were linked to the Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul and an anti-government rally led by the church’s chief pastor on August 15th.
The virus has also put the nation’s lawmakers under the threat of infection.
The National Assembly temporarily closed down on Thursday, after a reporter covering the ruling party tested positive for COVID-19 the previous day.
The main building, members’ office and press office buildings have all been closed.
All nine committee meetings set for Thursday have also been postponed.
Meanwhile, the southwestern city of Gwangju, which had successfully contained its first outbreak last month, is now seeing an uptick in new cases.
At least 39 cases have been reported from a church in the city.
Infections have also popped up at a table tennis club, office buildings, and daycare centers in Gwangju.
South Korean authorities see this week as the last chance to bring the virus back under control.
If the situation fails to improve, the government could raise the social distancing level to level three, the highest in the three-tier system.
Under level three, South Korea would basically go into a collective shutdown, with gatherings of more than 10 people being prohibited.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News.

Reporter : jhee@arirang.com

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