COVID Infections Rise as Lockdown Easing Looms

  • By Lee Joon-woo

    June 29, 2021 12:37

    Coronavirus infections are rising again as Korea prepares to ease lockdown on Thursday. Just two weeks ago, daily infections hovered between 300 to 400 a day on weekends and around 500 on weekdays. But as soon as the government announced on June 20 that lockdown will be eased in July, infection rates started to climb again, perhaps because some Koreans immediately threw caution to the wind.

    Around 600 new cases were reported for five straight days starting on June 23. The increase has been particularly sharp in densely populated Seoul, where average daily infections reached 218.1 last week, up 25.4 percent from the previous week.

    There has also been a surge in infected people arriving from abroad from 28.8 a day in the third week of June to 41.6 in the fourth.

    Visitors cool themselves in an amusement park in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province on June 22. /Newsis

    Chun Eun-mi at Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital said, "We need to be wary of the highly infectious Delta variant. In the U.K., 84 percent of the population have had their first jab and 61 percent their second one, but there have still been 20,000 new infections due to the variant." In Korea only nine percent of the population have had their second shot.

    The summer holiday season starts next month and eased lockdown could lead to a surge in social gatherings.

    The daily tally of new infections stood at 595 as of Tuesday morning.

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