July 07, 2021 09:49
Coronavirus infections surged above 1,000 on Tuesday evening for the first time in six months, prompting fears of a fourth wave with no end of lockdown in sight.
According to health authorities, the daily tally of COVID-19 infections as of Wednesday morning stood at 1,212 cases.
The surge occurred mostly in Seoul, where a record 568 cases were detected by Tuesday evening. The previous high was 552 cases detected in December last year. Gyeonggi Province saw 350 cases and Incheon 57 new cases, bringing the total in the capital region to 975.
One reason could be a slackening of lockdown discipline amid widespread pandemic fatigue.
Health authorities are poised to announce yet more stringent lockdown rules soon. They are fueled by a fear of variants, of which Korea saw 592 infections between June 27 and July 3.
The slow pace of vaccination is making matters worse. Only 30 percent of Korea's 52 million people had at least their first jab as of Monday, up just 0.8 percentage point over the last two weeks as the government failed to secure sufficient vaccine supplies.
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