South Korea reported 9-hundred-67 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, falling below a thousand for the first time in three days.
Of the additional cases, 940 were locally transmitted, while 27 were from overseas.
This now brings the nation’s total number of cases to over 60-thousand.
21 more fatalities were also reported, raising the death toll to 9-hundred.
Health authorities gave several reasons for the current wave of infections.

“The number of asymptomatic patients, the winter season and eased social distancing measures have led to the spread of the virus across the country.”

Infections have mostly been concentrated in the greater Seoul area, which accounted for about 70 percent of Thursday’s confirmed cases.
The capital again reported the most cases with 3-hundred-65 followed by 2-hundred-19 in Gyeonggi-do Province.

Cluster infections continue to appear, with many at long-term care hospitals and religious facilities.
A total of 17 nursing homes have been hit with mass virus outbreaks, including one in Seoul’s Guro-gu District and another in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do Province both of which have more than a hundred cases linked to them.

Concerns are also rising over the new COVID-19 variant first detected in the UK.
The country has so far reported five cases of the variant, but health officials say there could be more in the coming days.

To contain the virus, the government has vowed to strengthen its response, announcing plans to start vaccinations in the first quarter of 2021.

“The COVID-19 treatment made by S. Korea is under review and we are signing contracts to purchase vaccines developed abroad. Inoculations will begin as early as February.”

The Prime Minister added that Korean-made vaccines will be available by the end of next year.
South Korea will decide on Saturday whether to raise its social distancing guidelines to the highest level or extend the current Level 2.5 measures which are due to end this weekend.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.

Reporter : shmin@arirang.com

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