Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 800

  • By Kim Sung-mo, Jung Seok-woo

    December 28, 2020 13:19

    Nearly 300 people died from coronavirus this month alone amid a third wave of infections, accounting for a whopping 35 percent of all 819 deaths that occurred since January.

    Some 22 percent of this month's deaths occurred over the past 10 days, a spike linked by medical associations due to a shortage of hospital beds and burnout among medical professionals.

    But the government announced Sunday that it will maintain current social distancing rules until Jan. 3 instead of a full lockdown.

    Medical workers prepare for coronavirus testing at a makeshift facility in Seoul on Monday. /Newsis

    The sources of many new infections have been hard to trace, unlike during the first and second waves, while many infections are occurring among groups of fewer than five people.

    Over the past month, one in every four new infections occurred in families.

    Altogether some 3,654 or 24.2 percent of the 15,111 infections from Nov. 20-Dec. 16 occurred among family members, according to health authorities on Sunday. Some 43.5 percent of 1,761 child and teenage patients were infected by their own family members.

    Jeong Eun-kyeong, the chief of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, said, "It's now very important even for family members to wear masks and comply with social distancing."

    On Monday morning, Korea reported some 808 new cases, bringing the accumulated total to 57,680.

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