SEOUL, Sept. 26 (BNA): The number of coronavirus cases in South Korea on Saturday crossed 3,000 for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic as people returned home from the Chuseok holiday.
The country reported an all-time high of daily cases for the second day in a row by adding 3,273 cases, including 3,245 local infections, bringing the total number of cases to 298,402, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), the South Korean news agency. . (Yonhap) reported.
Saturday’s daily case count jumped 842 from the previous day’s high of 2,431, the highest level since the country reported its first COVID-19 case in January last year.
The increase in the number of daily cases came as millions of South Koreans returned home after Chuseok, the Korean autumn harvest celebration, which ran from Monday to Wednesday.
Daily cases have remained more than 1,000 over the past 81 days amid the rapid spread of the most transmissible delta variant across the country.
Health authorities have warned of a further increase in cases, as nearly a million citizens await coronavirus test results on Friday after mass immigration during the Chuseok holiday.
The government had considered a gradual transition to a “with Corona” policy in late October, but a reassessment of that plan is also expected in light of the current pace of the virus’s spread.
The country added seven more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 2,441. The death rate was 0.82 percent.
The Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 52 million people, accounted for 77 percent of the total infections.
Seoul has reported 1,222 cases, the first time the number has exceeded 1,000. Neighboring Gyeonggi Province recorded 1,102 cases, and the western port city of Incheon added 201.
The greater Seoul area, the epicenter of the latest wave of the epidemic in South Korea, has been under level 4 distance measures, the highest in the country’s four-tier system, since July with most other areas under level 3.
The ban on private gatherings was eased during the last holiday, allowing up to eight people to gather provided that four of them have been fully vaccinated.
But authorities have tightened restrictions, limiting the number of private gatherings to a maximum of six, starting Friday.
The agency said 37.8 million people, or 74 percent of the country’s population, have received their first COVID-19 vaccinations, and 23 million people, or 45 percent, have been fully vaccinated.
The number of imported cases reached 28, including four from Uzbekistan and three each from Myanmar and Mongolia.
The number of patients with serious symptoms across the country reached 339, up 30 from the day before.
The total number of people released from quarantine after fully recovering was 266,414, an increase of 1,922 over the previous day.
Meanwhile, authorities corrected Friday’s daily caseload from 2,434 to 2,431, citing three false reports and test results.