South Korea extends COVID-19 restrictions for another 2 weeks

Country reports over 4,800 new cases, including 269 omicron variant infections, in past 24 hours.

ANKARA (AA) – South Korea on Friday decided to extend COVID-19 restrictions for two more weeks to stem the spread of the new omicron variant, said local media.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said the toughest social distancing rules would stay in place until mid-January, Yonhap News Agency reported.

“It is too early to think that we have overcome the crisis. We still have a lot of critically ill virus patients and deaths,” the agency quoted Kim as saying during a COVID-19 response meeting in capital Seoul.

However, the premier added that following the new restrictions, the daily numbers of coronavirus cases are showing a downward trend.

On Dec. 18, South Korean government placed strict social distancing rules for two weeks, limited private gathering to four people nationwide, with restaurants, cafes, and entertainment facilities required to close by 9 p.m., and private educational institutes, movie theaters, and internet cafes by 10 p.m.

The restrictions were heightened after the country recorded 7,850 cases, the highest single-day infections on Dec. 15, since COVID-19 outbreak last year.

During past 24 hours, the country reported 4,875 new cases, bringing the total caseload to 630,838, according to the Health Ministry.

With 108 more fatalities, the deaths toll also raised to 5,563.

The country also reported 269 new omicron variant cases, bringing the total to 894, according to the agency.

So far, over 82% people of the country’s 52 million population have been fully vaccinated.


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