July 21, 2021 10:39
The number of daily coronavirus infections reached a new record on Wednesday morning with 1,784 people testing positive.
The previous record was set just a week ago despite tightened lockdown in the Seoul metropolitan region. While Seoul's streets were mostly empty, more people are fleeing to the provinces as the peak holiday season approaches.
On Tuesday, authorities in Busan, where 95 coronavirus cases were reported, and the neighboring towns of Changwon, Jinju and Tongyeong, also tightened lockdown, and the same is being considered in Daejeon.
New infections are led by the Delta variant. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said that 52.6 percent of 2,381 people who tested positive last week had variant infections and 951 the Delta strain, a 20-percent increase from a week earlier.
Experts fear that the Delta variant will account for more than half of all infections in Korea soon. According to the KDCA, 77 people died or developed critical symptoms after testing positive in the past three weeks, almost doubling from the previous 21 days.
At the same time, 2.36 million people aged 50-52 had to endure massive delays in making their vaccine reservations online. The government's website crashed again due to overload shortly after bookings began at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Those who managed to access the website saw pop-up messages informing them that hundreds of thousands of others were ahead of them in the queue, and one user was told the waiting time would be an estimated 4,953 minutes.
In the evening, the KCDA's website was also down.
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